On Tuesday, the son of longtime Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, Jared Remy (35 years of age and hereinafter, the “Defendant”), pleaded guilty in Woburn. He pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel (hereinafter, the “Deceased”) back in August, 2013.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

There was no plea bargain for a lesser sentence; there couldn’t be. He pleaded guilty to, among other charges, First Degree Murder. He received the mandated sentence for the murder as well as concurrent prison sentences for the remaining charges.

You likely remember this case. The Defendant was accused of fatally stabbing the Deceased at their townhouse two days after she obtained an emergency restraining order against him following his arrest on assault and battery charges.

According to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, the Defendant was incensed with the Deceased and killed her “in a fit of rage” because he perceived he was losing control of her.
“Today, with this plea, the defendant has been held accountable for his actions,” said Ryan.

“This plea ensures that Jared Remy will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.”
The Defendant was found, covered in blood, at the scene. There were neighbors who apparently witnessed the murder and apparently tried to help the Deceased. The Defendant is said to have kept them at bay by slashing at them.

Waltham Police Chief Keith MacPherson said he was pleased the case was resolved quickly.
“I hope this resolution will bring some comfort to the Martel family,” he said.

The Defendant read a statement to the court at the hearing, saying that his family thought of Martel as one of their own children.

“Blame me for this, not my family,” the Defendant said. “Jen always said my family was her real family. … I’m the bad apple and if you ask my family, they’d rather have me dead than her.”

The Defendant also maintained that on the night of the killing the Deceased” had a knife in her hand and threatened me with our daughter … so I killed her.”

He said he was in court “not for a deal but to take responsibility for what I have done.”

Attorney Sam’s Take On Pleading Guilty To First Degree Murder

There is one thing about court. You never know what you are going to see. The unexpected happens so often that it could almost be called “expected”.

Pleading guilty to Murder in the First dDegree is highly unusual. This is because there is really absolutely nothing to gain by pleading guilty under those circumstances. If you plead guilty to Murder in the First Degree there is no bargaining over a prison sentence. It is life.

There is no hoping for early release by way of parole. There is no parole. There is no early release.

There is no release.

I should also point out that, in the plea hearing itself, there are mentions of grounds for a lesser charge which could have been sought at trial, even if a “Not Guilty” was unlikely. For example, the “enraged” comment by the District Attorney could indicate a lesser charge and defense that he had lost control. The statement by the Defendant would indicate a potential self-defense claim or, again, a lesser charge of homicide that would not have resulted in the mandatory life-without-parole sentence.

So, why would the Defendant plead guilty to this charge?

One would imagine that it has to do with his state of mind. It would seem, given the statements made in court, as well as the act of pleading guilty, that the Defendant is remorseful and wishes to spare his family and her family any more trauma then necessary.

Needless to say, the loss of the victim as well as the lifetime incarceration of the Defendant can hardly be called “trauma-less”.

So, is it simply altruism that would lead the defendant to plead guilty?

Clearly, the evidence against the defendant was strong. Clearly, it would be better for the families involved not to have to go through a trial. Perhaps there is hope on the part of the Defendant that, as he is doing the “right thing”, he may receive some consideration down the road. It is difficult to imagine that happening, of course, since there is not much the Commonwealth or court can do for him under the circumstances. However, hope sometimes springs eternal.

“Sam, can’t he appeal?”

Appeal what? He can’t appeal the sentence saying that the judge abused her discretion in sentencing him so harshly. The judge is imposing the only sentence she is allowed to give under the law.

When one pleads guilty in Massachusetts one waives one’s right to appeal. That means waiving the right to appeal previous rulings, for example in a suppression motion, or anything else, save an attack on the criminal sentence by saying that the judge abused his or her discretion. Again, there is no such appeal here.

“So, does this mean that it is the last that we will ever hear from the Defendant and this case? ”

Not necessarily. It is possible that a motion for a new trial will be brought down the road.

“But I thought he waved his appeals”

This would not be an appeal, really. It would be an argument that his plea of guilty was not actually knowing and voluntary. The most common grounds for such a motion is that his attorney was incompetent.

In this case, should such a motion be brought, I would expect the grounds to be that he was not of a right mind when he made the decision and followed through with pleading guilty. Perhaps it was the emotion. Perhaps it was the pressure being brought upon him by the family. Perhaps it was because of his deep grieving for the Deceased. You would be surprised at what be argued.

I point out once again that, during the hearing, and afterwards by the District Attorney’s own statement, there was groundwork laid for a lesser charge.

It is very difficult to have a motion allowed for a new trial, particularly in the case with the defendant has pleaded guilty. On the other hand, this is a time when certain laws are being changed, such as a life sentence without parole for juveniles being struck down.

The Defendant is not a juvenile, but, as I said above, hope sometimes springs eternal.

Eternal as in for a lifetime which it would appear the Defendant will, at least for now, be spending behind the bars
Have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!

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