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    ‘I did what I could to stop it,’ neighbor says

    WALTHAM — A neighbor who tried to help Jennifer Martel as she was allegedly being stabbed by Jared W. Remy on Thursday night said he regrets not being able to save Martel, whom he considered a good mother and neighbor.

    Benjamin Ray wore sunglasses and took long pauses as he gave a broad outline of his rescue attempt, an effort that Middlesex prosecutors said came to an end when the burly Remy turned toward Ray and tried to slash him with the knife he allegedly used to murder Martel.

    “I was there. I did what I could to stop it, and it wasn’t enough,” Ray said in an interview in his home in the Windsor Village complex here, which is located about 20 paces from the patio where Martel’s life ended.


    Ray did not provide many details for two reasons: The prosecution of Martel’s killer is ongoing, and because he wants to limit the number of times he recalls seeing what prosecutors described as Remy stabbing Martel over and over again.

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    “It’s not an easy thing to watch,” Ray said today. “It’s not an easy thing to try to stop and not be able to.’’

    He added, “the rest is up to the police... I don’t want to recap the experience.”

    Remy today was arraigned in Waltham District Court where he is charged with murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for attacking Martel, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon for allegedly trying to stab Ray.

    Ray did summarize the attack in an interview with Waltham police shortly after the homicide.


    “Mr. Ray saw Jared Remy attacking Jennifer Martel with a knife ... Remy was on top of Ms. Martel, slashing her,’’ police wrote. “Mr. Ray attempted to pull Remy off and was unable to do so.’’

    Remy turned his attention to Ray, the report states.

    “Remy turned and tried to stab Mr. Ray with the knife. Mr. Ray jumped back out of the way,’’ police wrote.

    Martel was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Ray said today he was not injured in the incident, but described Remy as “a big dude.”


    Ray said he knew Remy and Martel and was close to the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, who was in the home when Remy allegedly murdered the child’s mother.

    “She was a great girl, a great mom,” Ray said of Martel. “And she really loved her daughter.’’

    The child was physically unharmed and was in the custody of the Department of Children and Families on Friday, officials said.

    “It’s sad,” Ray said. “It shouldn’t have happened ... but in the end, a good girl is dead.”