At his arraignment this month, Thomas J. Mortimer IV pleaded not guilty to four counts of Massachusetts first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife Laura Stone Mortimer, 2-year-old daughter Charlotte, 4-year-old son Thomas Mortimer V, and mother-in-law Ragna Ellen Stone. The 43-year-old Winchester software salesman was apprehended on June 17 close to the Vermont line after a driver that stopped to help him with his car on Route 10 recognized him and contacted the authorities.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Mortimer after the bodies were discovered in their home on June 16. Relatives reportedly had not been able to contact the family since June 14. Mortimer is accused of using “sharp objects” and “blunt force trauma” to kill the victims.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. says that Mortimer had left behind a note confessing to the murders while citing marital problems and financial issues. Mortimer is currently unemployed.
Mortimer’s Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer has said that the defendant’s mental health will be a factor in the case. She is seeking a psychiatric evaluation from Dr. Marc Whaley, a forensic psychiatrist, which indicates that she may make an insanity plea on Mortimer’s behalf. Mounting an insanity defense is an extensive process that can take over a year.
The charge of Massachusetts first-degree murder can refer to the premeditated and deliberate killing of another person, murdering someone while committing a capital felony, or the killing someone in an extremely cruel manner. A conviction for this crime can land a defendant in jail for life. This is not the type of case that you want to tackle without an experienced Boston homicide defense lawyer on your side.
Not-guilty plea in 4 Winchester deaths, Boston Globe, June 19, 2010
Four family members found dead in Winchester home, My Fox Buston, June 16, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Murder, Cornell Law School
The Insanity Defense, Washington Post
Please contact our Boston, Massachusetts murder defense attorneys to request your free case evaluation.