In a case that has brought considerable attention to official handling of intimate partner violence, Jared Remy pleaded guilty to murder yesterday in Woburn, Ma., admitting he savagely stabbed girlfriend Jennifer Martel last August as their 4-year-old daughter watched and three neighbors screamed and tried to stop him, the Boston Globe reports. Remy's admission means he will spend life in state prison without the possibility of parole. His plea, entered before Judge Kathe Tuttman, spares friends and family of Martel and Remy the added anguish of a protracted trial and the airing of even more gruesome details. Remy will forgo what the judge called his possible “partial defense” of anxiety, depression, and steroid and prescription drug use.
Remy delivered a two-minute statement in which he called himself a “bad apple” and imagined Martel watching over their daughter from heaven while playing with the couple's late chihuahua, Buddy. He said he wanted to “take responsibility for what I have done,” he also put some blame on Martel and on his “love for drugs.” First-degree murder pleas are rare in Massachusetts, which abolished the death penalty three decades ago. Remy admitted there was ample evidence to find him guilty by either legal standard for first-degree murder: a premeditated murder, done with “excessive atrocity or cruelty.” The murder came a day after Remy, charged with assaulting Martel, had been released. The Globe later reported that Remy had terrorized five girlfriends, starting when he was 17, and that courts had repeatedly let him off with little more than probation.