, Salem, MA

Local News

November 7, 2012

Murder or manslaughter?

Jury now has Ronchi's fate in hands


“However, if you look at the evidence and you take the position that none of those little details matter to you,” the prosecutor said, there is evidence of premeditation that night. “If in your assessment of the evidence, you’re looking at that fight, one can find the elements for not only a premeditated murder, but one that is committed with extreme atrocity or cruelty. He tells you he was angry, that he was frustrated, that his anger and frustration got to the point where he made the decision, ‘I’m leaving.’ He puts on his coat, but he does not walk out the door.”

Instead, “He picks up the knife. He takes it out of its sheath. This was the knife that he plunged into various locations on the body of Yulyia Galperina that night,” Curran said.

Curran also argued that contrary to the defense expert’s testimony last week that Ronchi was a man who struggled with identifying emotions, letters he gave to Galperina during their relationship showed otherwise.

Swomley repeatedly reminded jurors about the stresses in Ronchi’s life, including an estrangement from his brother, the tension between his own children and Galperina, and his failing massage therapy business.

But Curran, in her closing, countered with Ronchi’s increasingly close friendship with Susan Slowick, a teacher at Cape Ann Waldorf School, which his children attended, reminding jurors he’d spent time at her home that very evening before going to Galperina’s Salem Heights apartment.

And as for the suggestion that Ronchi’s business failed because he was unable to form connections with others, Curran pointed to the ample money he had available to him through a trust fund worth more than $1 million and additional assets that at one point were around $200,000. Perhaps, the prosecutor suggested, Ronchi simply did not need to worry about money.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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