In the early morning hours of July 16, 2016, Asheville, NC plastic surgeon Frank “Buddy” McCutcheon was shot in the head while he slept on the couch. Before he died, a trove of previously hidden secrets had come to light that may have led to his demise.
On the night of his killing Buddy’s wife, Brenda says that barking dogs and a loud noise awoke her while she was sleeping upstairs. At first, she thought it was thunder or something falling off the wall. She later testified that the couple slept in different rooms because he liked to have the television on, but she did not.
She called 911 after her husband was murdered and told dispatchers that he always kept the back door unlocked while he slept downstairs. She further shared that there was a handgun in a kitchen drawer. Using these details, she speculated that an intruder could have simply walked in the house, found the gun, and shot Buddy dead. A handgun that belonged to the McCutcheons was later found between their house and a neighbor’s house.
Buddy and Brenda’s secrets
Three days before Buddy died he and his wife Brenda were served a court order about an investigation into embezzlement and fraud. Detectives tried to seize records at the couple’s business, Cosmetic Surgery of Asheville but found that the records were kept off-site in storage units and Brenda McCutcheon had planned to shred 40 boxes of documents on July 27, 2016.
The couple were suspected of keeping their employees’ payroll withholdings instead of paying North Carolina taxes.
Buddy had another secret: he had been involved in a four-year affair with one of his employees at his medical office.
Brenda was charged a year later
Brenda was indicted on first-degree murder charges in November 2017, over a year after her husband’s death.
Brenda maintains her innocence
In 2020 Brenda McCutcheon was found guilty of her husband’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. However, Brenda still claims that she is innocent. She appealed her sentence, but in December 2021, her appeal was denied.
“Overwhelming circumstantial evidence links defendant [Brenda} to Buddy’s murder,” Appeals Court Judge John Tyson said at the ruling, according to the Citizen Times.
A new Dateline episode titled “The Day the Music Died” airs tonight (Friday) at 9/8c on NBC.