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Somerville woman charged with assaulting and strangling mother who was found dead in her apartment

A 48-year-old Somerville woman was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation at her arraignment Thursday on charges alleging she assaulted and strangled her mother, who was found dead in her daughter’s apartment on May 28, according to prosecutors and legal filings.

April Monroe is charged with strangulation and assault and battery on a person over 60 causing serious bodily injury for allegedly attacking her mother, Gail Gasperini, 73, of East Boston, said Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office in a statement.

She was arraigned Thursday in Somerville District Court, where a not guilty plea was entered for her, legal filings show. Judge SallyAnn Janulevicus ordered Monroe to undergo an evaluation at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital to assess her competence to stand trial, according to court papers.


Monroe’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Prosecutors said Gasperini’s husband reported her missing on May 28 and told authorities she had left to visit her daughter and hadn’t come home.

When police went to Monroe’s home, they found Gasperini dead, prosecutors said.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner accepted the case and, during an autopsy conducted the following day, observed injuries to the body consistent with an assault.”

Monroe was charged with causing those injuries based on a subsequent investigation, officials said. Additional charges are possible, prosecutors said.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 21, records show.

Travis Andersen can be reached at