Two men were convicted Thursday in connection with the kidnapping and slaying of an Avon man on New Year’s Day 2014, prosecutors said.
A Norfolk Superior Court jury convicted James Feeney, 48, of Dedham of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and conspiracy, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office. Scott Morrison, 51, of Norfolk was convicted of manslaughter, aggravated kidnapping, and conspiracy.
Feeney was sentenced to life in prison without parole on the murder charge, with concurrent sentences of 25 to 30 years and four to five years on the other counts. Morrison, meanwhile, was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison for kidnapping, six to eight years for manslaughter, and four to five years for conspiracy. For Morrison, all those sentences are concurrent, according to the district attorney’s office.
James Robertson’s family last saw him when two men posing as constables came to his parents’ home in Avon to supposedly bring him to a drug test as part of his probation. Robertson was 37 when he got into a car with the two men, prosecutors said. His remains were found in Upton about two years later, when a hunter told authorities he found what he believed to be a human skull, authorities said.
According to authorities, Feeney was accused of hatching the kidnapping plot as revenge for Robertson’s romantic involvement with his former girlfriend. Court records show Feeney, an alleged drug dealer, also suspected Robertson had informed against him.
Prosecutors said Feeney coordinated with Morrison and another man, Alfred A. Ricci III of Canton, to carry out the kidnapping to scare and harm Robertson. The assault on Robertson killed him, authorities said.
Ricci remains under indictment, as does former Dedham police officer Michael Schoener as an accessory before the fact for lending his badge to the group to bolster the ruse that led to the kidnapping, among other things, prosecutors said.
Robertson’s brother and his now-15-year-old son delivered victim impact statements prior to sentencing, according to prosecutors.
“The agony that this crime has inflicted on the Robertson family is hard to describe,” Morrissey, the district attorney, said in a statement. “Jamie was there, full of life, and then he was gone, leaving his son, daughter, parents, siblings, and friends wondering where he was.”