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Jury takes 90 minutes to convict Shirley man of murdering ex-girlfriend

A Shirley man was convicted today of first-degree murder and of violating a restraining order in the 2010 torture murder of his estranged girlfriend, who was killed in the basement of his mother’s home.

Robert Gulla, 21, faces mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced in the Woburn courthouse on Thursday for the murder of Allison Myrick, a Fitchburg State College freshman who had dated Gulla but had broken off the relationship.

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“The defendant brutally attacked, tortured and murdered his former girlfriend,” Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said in a statement. “This is a tragic case, and combating domestic violence remains a priority point of focus for this office.’’

Gulla’s trial lasted 11 days; a Middlesex Superior Court jury deliberated for just 90 minutes before announcing its verdict.

The brutal slaying was discovered Jan. 23, 2010 when Shirley police were called to Morin Street to investigate reports of two people suffering from serious injuries. Gulla was was taken by medical helicopter to UMass Medical Center in Worcester for treatment of self-inflicted wounds.

He was released from the hospital after three days of treatment.

Myrick, a 19-year-old Groton resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.

At the start of Gulla’s trial, Assistant District Attorney Lisa McGovern told jurors that Myrick had been stabbed in the head, in the abdomen, and in the neck — and also had her throat slashed while she was still alive.

Myrick bled to death.

McGovern also said Gulla shot Myrick “right between the eyes” with a pellet gun and smoked a cigarette and put the lighted end against her skin.

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