Wayne Chambers leaves Suffolk Police Headquarters in Yaphank in 2021.

Wayne Chambers leaves Suffolk Police Headquarters in Yaphank in 2021. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Two hours after leaving what would be her final shift as a registered nurse at Stony Brook University Hospital in July 2021, Sandra McIntosh was pronounced dead by doctors there, a Suffolk prosecutor told the jury Tuesday at the trial for the man accused in her slaying.

Wayne Chambers, 51, of Medford, is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of McIntosh, 46, also of Medford, a decadeslong friend who prosecutors said had recently ended a six-year romantic relationship with him.

“She returned to that hospital … not as a nurse, but as a patient in dire need of lifesaving aid,” Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Michelle Chiuchiolo told the jury during opening arguments before State Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro in Riverhead Tuesday.

Chiuchiolo said DNA from McIntosh’s Lexus SUV, surveillance video and cellphone evidence will show Chambers stabbed McIntosh 25 times in the back and neck and dumped her out on a Holtsville side street after picking her up from work before fleeing for New York City.

“Sandra McIntosh cannot tell you what happened to her on July 22, 2021,” Chiuchiolo said. “But the evidence found inside of her car and [Chambers’] own cellphone will show … [she] was stabbed to death by a man she had known her entire life.”

Sandra McIntosh.

Sandra McIntosh. Credit: Tameka Sullivian

The prosecutor said McIntosh, who also worked as a flight attendant for American Airlines and was the mother of an adult son from a previous partner, met Chambers when she was 17 years old and both lived in Jamaica. He was her first boyfriend and, after three decades of friendship, they began dating as adults in 2015, Chiuchiolo said. McIntosh informed Chambers that their relationship was over in spring 2021, the prosecutor said, and by July had begun dating someone else.

Chambers had returned to the Medford house he previously shared with McIntosh two nights before her killing and stayed with her as he was removing his belongings, Chiuchiolo said.

The prosecutor said evidence presented at trial will show the relationship between McIntosh and Chambers had turned “tumultuous” in the months leading up to her death.

Chambers’ court-appointed defense attorney, Ian Fitzgerald of Central Islip, told the jury that while Chiuchiolo may have presented a compelling narrative of events during her opening remarks, he believes "there are holes" in the prosecution’s story.

“They were breaking up; that doesn’t mean he’s a killer,” Fitzgerald said, noting that text messages recovered from the estranged couple's phones do not show Chambers threatening violence toward McIntosh.

The defense attorney pointed to a witness statement from a man who tended to McIntosh by the side of Woodland Avenue in Holtsville who said she identified her killer as a man named “Tony.” Prosecutors said McIntosh and her family referred to Chambers by his lifelong nickname, “Troy,” and that’s likely what she said in a soft voice that may have been difficult to hear.

“Sandra McIntosh was asked, ‘Who did this you?’ and she said, ‘Tony,’ ” Fitzgerald told the jury. “She didn’t say ‘Wayne.’ She didn’t say ‘Troy.’ She said ‘Tony.’ ”

Fitzgerald also said a passing motorist who told police he saw Chambers remove McIntosh from the vehicle in Holtsville and then followed him to the Long Island Expressway while calling 911 told police he “didn’t get a good look at the guy.”

But Chiuchiolo said cell tower data will show Chambers’ phone at Stony Brook University Hospital and in Holtsville before McIntosh's death, and hours later at a location in the Bronx where her bloodstained vehicle was found. The only DNA found on the steering wheel and steering column belonged to McIntosh and Chambers, the prosecutor added.

Chambers replaced his cellphone one day after McIntosh’s death, Chiuchiolo said. He was arrested at a motel in Newburgh by Suffolk, state and federal authorities one week later, Chiuchiolo said.

The trial is expected to continue Wednesday.

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