Authorities link slaying to drugs

Maggie Hoffman of Goose Creek stands before a magistrate during a preliminary hearing in Berkeley County. She is charged with killing her husband.

Victim's wife addicted, detectives say

MONCKS CORNER — Maggie Hoffman's drug addiction might have led her to shoot her husband three times in the back of the head and bury him in a shallow grave behind her home, authorities, family and court documents said.

"She had a cocaine addiction," Berkeley County sheriff's Detective Jerry Merrithew said.

Hoffman was emotionless in court Wednesday night during a reading of the murder charge against her and said little but to ask when bail would be set.

When she reported her husband missing Friday morning, deputies followed a trail of drag marks in the grass from the back gate of the couple's Little River Road home in Goose Creek to Thomas Hoffman's body a few feet into the woods, according to an affidavit. Dirt was under Maggie Hoffman's fingernails, and she had scratches on her legs, it said.

Hoffman's addiction had spiraled out of control, and her husband cut off her money supply, said Patricia Williams, the victim's mother.

"He found money missing from their joint account," Williams said. "He didn't want her to handle the money anymore."

Hoffman borrowed money from neighbors for drugs and asked them not to tell her husband, the affidavit said. She ran up thousands of dollars in debt buying drugs, it said.

Maggie Hoffman was the sole beneficiary of her husband's $400,000 life-insurance policy, according to the affidavit.

Thomas Hoffman, 43, planned to leave his wife, but she convinced him to stay, Williams said.

Maggie Hoffman has no criminal history in South Carolina, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. A bond hearing before a circuit court judge will be held later.