BROCKTON — Charles Jaynes, who was convicted in 1998 of killing a 10-year-old Cambridge boy in one of the state’s most infamous murder cases, tried to persuade a judge Tuesday that he not only is a different person but also needs a new name.
Now bald and sporting a full, dark beard, Jaynes says he has converted to the Wiccan religion and must change his given name to Manasseh-Invictus Auric Thutmose V in order to truly practice it.
But Robert Curley, the father of murder victim Jeffrey Curley, faced his son’s killer for the first time in 15 years to oppose the request. Curley told Judge Catherine P. Sabaitis that Jaynes has not changed and is “pure evil.”
Currently serving a life sentence for kidnapping and killing the boy in 1997, a handcuffed Jaynes spoke for more than 15 minutes at a hearing in Plymouth Probate and Family Court, rattling of examples of biblical name changes and asserting his constitutional right to alter his.
The 37-year-old former Brockton resident also said he is innocent. Under that reasoning, Jaynes said, he is not seeking a name change to evade authorities in the event that he is granted parole, because to be paroled he would have to “lie and admit to a murder I didn’t commit.”
“I’m not asking to change my Social Security number; I’m not asking to change my prison identification number,’’ he told Sabaitis while standing behind security glass in the courtroom just a few feet from Curley. “They basically go by one thing in prison, the number. I’m W-65722 to them. That’s what I’ll always be, no matter what the name is.’’
In asking the judge to deny the name-change request, Curley recounted the disturbing details of how Jaynes and a friend, Salvatore Sicari, kidnapped Jeffrey, fatally smothered him with a gasoline-soaked rag, and then had sex with the body. They then placed him inside a Rubbermaid container filled with cement and dumped it in a river in Maine.
Details of the case captured national attention and reignited a fierce debate that came close to bringing the death penalty back to the state. Jaynes was convicted in 1998 of kidnapping and second-degree murder. Sicari was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder. Under a second-degree murder conviction, a prisoner can be eligible for parole after 15 years.
At the time of Jaynes’s arrest, he had about 70 outstanding warrants and had used various aliases to avoid detection by law enforcement, Curley said at the hearing.
“He’s a master at this,’’ said Curley. “The things that make Charles Jaynes so dangerous is the well-spoken words he had today, the nice, soft demeanor he had today.
“But I tell you, Charles Jaynes is the face of evil, just pure evil, and that’s what makes him so dangerous,” he said.
Gerry and Mary Putney, a Kingston couple who do not know Curley, said they heard news of the hearing and were compelled by the “despicable” details of the case to go to the Brockton court and speak against the request.
“He committed this crime under the name of Jaynes,” Mary Putney told the judge. “He was incarcerated under the name Jaynes, and he should keep the name until he dies and forever have that name be associated with the heinous crime committed.”
Jaynes did not mention a habeas corpus petition pending in US District Court in Boston, which potentially could lead to his being granted a new trial if he convinces the court that he was convicted in a constitutionally defective trial.
Instead, he said that since he won’t lie to the Parole Board, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison.” Jaynes called the court process “drama,” but added it was the only avenue available to him to be able to change his name.
“For me to freely exercise my religion, to be acknowledged by my religious name in prison, this is the way I have to go about it,” he said. “It’s not because I’m trying to manipulate the system.”
Sabaitis said she would t issue a written decision within 30 days.
After the hearing, Curley called Jaynes a “con man” who is setting the stage for life after parole.
“He’s not a dummy, but he’s not as smart as he thinks he is and he’s not fooling me,” Curley said outside the courtroom, alongside his lawyer, Michael Chinman. “He wants to go out there and just continue the lifestyle that he was living before he murdered Jeff.”