From CBS.COM – CREDIT: Diaz Digital Media
the Patriot Ledger reported.Almost 20 years after a young Milton man was shot to death on a side street in Upper Mills, Kenyatte E. Murrell and Jameel A. Williams have pleaded guilty to manslaughter,
Murrell, 41, and Williams, 37, were originally convicted in 2003 in the murder of Milton High School graduate Gregory Cormier, but that conviction was overturned five years later by the State Supreme Judicial Court with a reprimand for prosecutorial misconduct.
Murrell and Williams have been held in state prison in Norfolk, awaiting a new trial on first-degree murder charges, since that ruling.
On Tuesday in Norfolk Superior Court, Judge Raymond J. Brassard sentenced Murrell to a 19 1/2 -year prison term and Williams to an 18-year prison term on the manslaughter charges.
Both men were also sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 15-20 years after each pleaded guilt to a charge of armed assault with intent to murder for shooting the passenger in Cormier’s car, Wayne Jackson.
Williams and Murrell were convicted in late 2003, partly from testimony by Shawn Castle, the prosecution’s key witness. Castle said he drove the two men to the murder site and then gave them a ride back to another gang member’s house.
Castle was later deported to his native country of Trinidad as a result of other convictions. After the supreme court overturned the conviction, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey sent a State Police lieutenant to Trinidad to search for Castle, who was eventually found but was unwilling to return to Massachusetts to testify.
Prosecutors also said that one police witness has died since the 2003 trial, and another is retired.
“This was a difficult case in 2003. The loss of multiple witnesses, including the driver, left us with the choice between accepting a plea to manslaughter and the very real potential of walking away with a not guilty verdict after another trial,” Morrissey said in a written statement. “We have to deal with the state of the evidence today and make our decisions on that basis.”
Cormier’s killing shocked Milton, which at the time hadn’t seen much of Boston’s street violence spill over into its neighborhoods.
Cormier was 20 and had played basketball for Milton High School. He was fatally shot in his Mazda as he and his friend Wayne Jackson drove through Upper Mills.
NASHUA, N.H. — A Nashua woman will spend the next 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of her son.
In court Thursday, prosecutors detailed how Unique Gould punched and violently spanked her son, Devon, to the point that he was unconscious.
Prosecutors say Gould then failed to get him help until 20 hours later.
The child was taken to a Boston hospital, where he died two weeks later.
Gould, who is now four months pregnant, is turning the custody of her yet-to-be-born child over to her husband.
CONCORD, N.H. —A former Fortune 500 executive told police he was depressed and aiming to kill himself when he drove his full-size pickup truck across a grassy highway median, went airborne and crushed to death a young Vermont couple expecting their first child in January.
Robert Dellinger, 53, survived the suicide attempt with cuts on his head and face. He was charged with reckless manslaughter, a crime that carries 15-30 years in prison if convicted.
But what was going through Dellinger’s mind and whether he showed “extreme indifference” to human life could get him a more serious charge of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
Jason Timmons, 29, and Amanda Murphy, 24, suffered injuries a medical examiner said were consistent with a plane crash. The unborn child did not survive.
Veteran defense attorney and University of New Hampshire law school professor Albert “Buzz” Scherr said he has no doubt prosecutors are considering elevating the charges to murder, but hastened to add there’s little precedent for a case like Dellinger’s.
“It’s such strange and outrageous behavior,” Scherr said. “There’s a vacuum in terms of the details of what was in his mind.
“If he’s focused on committing suicide, is he thinking about other people’s lives? Or does it fall closer to driving really fast and hoping you go so fast you go off the road and kill yourself and you’re not thinking about anyone else?”
Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said last week they are considering additional charges against Dellinger, who left as a senior vice president and chief financial officer of PPG Industries in 2011 because of health issues. He had also worked for Sprint, Delphi and General Electric.
Asked why Dellinger wasn’t charged with second-degree murder at the outset, Morrell said, “We’re still collecting evidence. We examine the evidence and pursue the appropriate charges.”
Dellinger has not been charged in connection with the loss of the fetus. Former Gov. John Lynch in 2012 vetoed legislation that would have expanded the state’s homicide laws to include the death of a fetus eight weeks or older.
Dellinger’s lawyer, Peter DeCato, did not return calls seeking comment. Dellinger, who lives in Sunapee but maintains a home in Kansas, is free on $250,000 cash bond and must wear an electronic monitoring device and undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Prosecutors said in court Wednesday that Dellinger’s truck crossed the median on Interstate 89 early afternoon on Dec. 7, became airborne and sheared off the top of the couple’s car, killing them instantly.
According to prosecutors, Dellinger told troopers after the crash that he had argued with his wife over medication he was taking for depression and was driving around when he decided to commit suicide.
“He told us that Saturday in the hospital that he intended to cross that median at a high rate of speed,” Morrell said.
Attorney Jonathan Cohen, who is not involved in Dellinger’s case, said it’s not a stretch to think prosecutors may seek to increase the charges once all the evidence is in.
“I think a prosecutor could make the argument to a jury that intentionally driving your car across the median of a roadway manifests an extreme indifference to human life,” Cohen said.
LEBANON, N.H. —A former Fortune 500 executive who lives in New Hampshire is set to be arraigned on charges that he caused a crash that killed a Vermont couple.
The attorney general’s office says Dellinger, of Sunapee, recklessly killed 29-year-old Jason Timmons and 24-year-old Amanda Murphy, who was eight months pregnant. They say his vehicle crossed over the median Saturday on Interstate 89 in Lebanon and crashed head-on into the couple’s SUV. The couple was from Wilder, Vt.
Dellinger, who suffered minor injuries, was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Lebanon on two counts of manslaughter.
His lawyers did not immediately return calls seeking comment.