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Jury rejects insanity defense in Amy Lord murder trial

Rejecting an insanity defense, a jury Monday convicted Edwin Alemany of first-degree murder in the death of Amy Lord, a 24-year-old who was fatally stabbed nearly two years ago after being kidnapped outside her South Boston apartment.

Lord’s friends and family, including her parents, burst into tears as the jury delivered its verdict after less than a day of deliberations. Several friends cried out “yes,” and embraced in relief.

In July 2013, Alemany attacked Lord in the vestibule of her apartment, forced her into her Jeep, and ordered her to take out nearly $1,000 from several bank machines in Dorchester and South Boston. He then killed her at the Stony Brook Reservation in Hyde Park, strangling her and stabbing her dozens of times.


The murder was part of a daylong rampage in which the Mattapan man attacked two other women, a random, senseless spree that unnerved and horrified residents.

Alemany’s lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, conceded Alemany’s guilt, but urged jurors to take his mental state into account. During the trial, a psychiatrist testified that Alemany was raped as a child and beset by mental illness from a young age.

A conviction of first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Alemany is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning.

In a hushed Boston courtroom, the jury said it reached its decision under every legal theory presented by prosecutors, finding that the crime was premeditated and committed with extreme atrocity and cruelty.

Daniel Conley, the Suffolk district attorney, said the jury arrived at “the right verdict” by rejecting the insanity defense.

“He acted with clarity of mind,” Conley said of Alemany. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”

Conley described Lord as a young woman with “a tremendous future ahead of her,” the kind of ambitious young professional that fills Boston with energy. He praised homicide detectives for their tireless work in assembling the case.


“There were thousands and thousands of hours of investigative work,” he said.

Lord, a Bentley University graduate from the town of Wilbraham, was working at a digital marketing and Web-design firm.

Denner had urged the jury to see Alemany’s brutal crimes as evidence of a deeply troubled man, describing him in closing arguments last week as “helpless, hapless, and hopeless.”

After the verdict Monday, Denner acknowledged that the insanity defense was a tough sell, saying the jury was understandably reluctant to find someone not guilty of “crimes of this magnitude.”

“It’s asking too much,” he said, adding that jurors might fear that Alemany eventually would be released if not found guilty.

Denner said Alemany was a “very sick man,” who had not gotten the psychiatric help he desperately needed.

“There should be a system in place,” he said. “He’s still the same sick kid he was when he was 17.”

Alemany, 30, spent several stints in psychiatric hospitals as a teenager for mental health problems that included hallucinations and severe depression. During the trial, Alemany tried to hang himself inside his jail cell, but was stopped by corrections officers.

In brief remarks outside the courthouse, juror Marilyn Stout said the panel agreed that Alemany was criminally responsible for his actions, despite obvious psychiatric troubles.

“Based on the facts and the evidence that was presented to us, that’s what we made our decision on,” she said.


Stout said the grisly case was difficult for the jury.

“We’re all human,” she said.

Jurors also convicted Alemany of kidnapping, armed carjacking, two counts of armed robbery, and assault and battery. They acquitted him of a count of armed assault with intent to rape.

Through the district attorney’s office, Lord’s family declined to comment on the verdict. Relatives of Alemany left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Prosecutors said that Alemany first attacked a 22-year-old woman as she walked along Old Colony Avenue on July 23, 2013. He beat her, dragged her into a parking lot, and threatened to kill her before he fled.

About an hour later, around 6 a.m., he attacked Lord as she left her Dorchester Street apartment.

He later attacked a third female victim, Kayleigh Ballantyne, as she entered her home, stabbing her repeatedly before fleeing when she screamed.

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.