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Woman found guilty of murdering elderly neighbor in Needham

A 51-year-old woman was found guilty of murdering her elderly neighbor in Needham, the Norfolk district attorney’s office said Thursday.

Tammie Galloway was convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing and killing Laura Shifrina, a Russian immigrant and retired scientist who lived in an adjacent apartment, prosecutors said. Galloway was also found guilty of armed robbery and larceny.

Shifrina was last seen alive on May 28, 2017, prosecutors said. Three days later, her daughter found her body inside her Linden Street apartment.

Shifrina, 81, was a Jewish refugee who immigrated to the United States in 2000 with her daughter and her family and became an American citizen in 2005, the Globe reported. She was an active member of the Massachusetts Club of Russian Speaking Scientists, and it was her failure to attend one of the club’s weekly meetings that prompted her daughter to check in on her, the Globe reported.

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Numerous items were missing from the apartment, including Shifrina’s 2011 Ford Fiesta, prosecutors said. The car was later found on Dorchester Avenue with the keys in the ignition and a strong smell of bleach in the interior. Authorities obtained video of Galloway with a bottle of bleach near the car on May 29, prosecutors said.

Galloway faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said that while the verdict was just, it can’t return Shifrina to her family.

“By all accounts, Laura Shifrina lived an extraordinary life as a scientist, an émigré from Russia, a mother and a grandmother,” he said in a statement. “No verdict can return her to her loved ones, but I am pleased for the family that this jury saw the evidence as it was and returned a just verdict.”


Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com.