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Police report details how Amy Lord died

Boston Police on Thursday searched through Stony Brook Reservation, where Amy Lord’s body was discovered.

Wendy Maeda/Globe staff

Boston Police on Thursday searched through Stony Brook Reservation, where Amy Lord’s body was discovered.

Before he left her body in Stony Brook Reservation in Hyde Park last week, Edwin J. Alemany allegedly stabbed and strangled Amy Lord, according to a police report unsealed Friday.

The report said the 24-year-old from South Boston died from “sharp force injuries to the neck and torso and asphyxia by strangulation.”

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The evidence against Alemany, 28, a former busboy, includes “extensive video footage, forensic evidence, including DNA and witness statements, all of which connect Alemany to the area of the abduction in South Boston, the victim’s vehicle, the area of her recovery, as well as to the victim herself,” according to the report.

Jeffrey A. Denner, a Boston criminal defense attorney with other high-profile local cases under his belt, is representing Alemany, who is undergoing psychological evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Denner said by phone Friday that he had met with Alemany at the hospital.

“He was competent to speak to me, and I felt he understood who I was and what was going on,” Denner said.

Authorities say that before killing Lord, Alemany, who had been living recently in South Boston, beat her in the vestibule of her Dorchester Street apartment early in the morning of July 23, then drove her to five ATMs to withdraw cash.

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Alemany was called a person of interest in Lord’s killing until authorities ran DNA tests and charged him this week with her homicide. Before that, he had been charged with assaulting two other women in South Boston within 24 hours of Lord’s death.

Boston police launched an internal affairs investigation into the handling of another attack last September on a woman walking home in Boston who was choked until she lost consciousness. During the assault, she grabbed a wallet from her assailant, and it contained Alemany’s identification card. The Boston detective investigating that attack, Jerome Hall-Brewster, did not pursue the case against Alemany, however, saying authorities did not have probable cause to proceed.

Hall-Brewster has been stripped of his detective’s badge.

Hall-Brewster’s attorney, Raffi Yessayan, defended his client and said he will appeal the demotion.

“I thought [Hall-Brewster] did a great job of securing the crime scene, documenting evidence, collecting it,” and submitting it for DNA testing, Yessayan said.

Boston Police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca said in a statement Friday night that Yessayan’s comments about the detective did not change the department’s view of the case.

“He has several avenues of appeal,” she said. “The department will present its evidence in the appropriate venue.

Officials in the Suffolk district attorney’s office declined to comment on the investigation Friday.

Denner said in his phone interview that Alemany’s family retained him and that he is taking over the case from public defender James Greenberg.

“He has a significant history of mental illness,” Denner said of Alemany. “I know anecdotally that he was diagnosed with some sort of multiple personality disorder as an adolescent.”

Denner has represented some of the state’s highest-
profile defendants, including Christian Gerhartsreiter, who was convicted of killing a California man in 1985 and assumed the name Clark Rockefeller when he lived in Boston. Denner has also represented former state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill against charges he used the state lottery advertising campaign to promote his failed bid for governor in 2010, and the family of Milena Del Valle, a 38-year-old woman who died in 2006 when a concrete ceiling panel fell in a Big Dig tunnel in Boston.

Denner would not say whether he intended to use an insanity defense with Alemany.

“The fact that he’s been sent to Bridgewater is an indication that even the court has concerns about his state of mind,” he said.

Hall-Brewster’s attorney, Yessayan, reiterated Friday that his client did not believe he had probable cause to arrest Alemany, who he said could have easily claimed he had been robbed of his wallet or had lost it prior to the September 2012 attack on the woman that is under investigation.

Yessayan said Alemany would have been freed without stronger evidence than the presence of the wallet. “People are assuming that he would have been off the street, and he wouldn’t have,” he said.

According to Yessayan, Hall-Brewster arrived at the scene from a shooting and secured the area, sending three items to a police lab for DNA testing: the wallet, a hat, and a plastic bottle with saliva traces.

Yessayan said that, contrary to the statements of police officials, Hall-Brewster responded on Nov. 20, 2012, to an e-mail a lab staff member had sent the day before, asking if he believed those items belonged to the suspect.

The staff member said testing could not start until Hall-Brewster answered in the affirmative, which he did the following day, Yessayan said.

Yessayan conceded that Hall-Brewster did not return three prior e-mails from the lab, but he described the first one as an introductory note from the specialist assigned to the case. The subsequent two e-mails from the lab, on Oct. 5 and Nov. 9, asked if Hall-Brewster thought the items belonged to the suspect, but the detective “did not overtly remember those exchanges and why he didn’t respond,” Yessayan said.

By July 3, Yessayan said, the lab had apparently tested only the bottle, which came back negative for anyone in a database of persons convicted of crimes. Yessayan said his client did not want to interview Alemany without a DNA match.

“He wanted all his ducks in a row before he went after this guy,” Yessayan said. “He didn’t necessarily want to interview him and show his hand until he had more.”

Yessayan, a former high-ranking Suffolk County prosecutor, said he did not think any of Hall-Brewster’s supervisors are guilty of misconduct either.

David Abel can be reached at dabel@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @davabel. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com.

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