Thursday, May 27, 2004 | 11:05 a.m.
The husband of a du Pont family heiress, who arranged for the contract killing of a former prostitute in Las Vegas, has died in federal prison.
Christopher Moseley, 63, was serving a 16 1/2 year federal prison sentence for arranging the August 1998 murder of Patricia Margello.
Moseley died Tuesday at the Butner Federal Medical Center outside of Raleigh, N.C., a prison spokesman at Butner said.
Moseley died of natural causes after a long illness, prison officials said this morning.
A Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in California said that before being transferred to the medical center Moseley was serving his sentence at Fairton Federal Prison in New Jersey.
Margello was desribed in court testimony as a former prostitute from South Philadelphia. Prosecutors said Moseley had her killed because he did not approve of her relationship with Moseley's stepson Dean MacGuigan, a great-great-grandson of a du Pont Chemical Co. founder. Moseley admitted to paying Diana Hironaga, Ricardo Murillo and Joseph Balignasa $15,000 to kill Margello in Las Vegas.
Hironaga confessed to luring Margello out on the night she died and then holding Margello's arms while Murillo strangled her with Balignasa's belt at the Del Mar Motel on Las Vegas Boulevard South.
The plot was uncovered when police figured out Hironaga rented the room where Margello's body was found stuffed inside an air conditioning vent and Hironaga implicated the others.
Moseley and Hironaga pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, implicating Murillo and Balignasa as the killers. Hironaga was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in federal prison.
Murillo was convicted and sentenced to two life terms in federal prison.
Balignasa was sentenced to 25 years in prison.