, Salem, MA

Local News

September 21, 2013

An ambush? Or bullying?

Trial underway in 2011 Beverly slaying


Following Buso’s opening statement, Buxton asked for a “sidebar” conference, during which she asked for a mistrial, citing, among other reasons, Buso’s tears during his opening, as well as his description of the law to jurors on the difference between murder and manslaughter.

Judge Howard Whitehead denied the motion but did tell jurors that Buso’s characterization of the law to them was not entirely accurate, and that the legal definition of “malice” is much more complex than the lawyer suggested.

Jurors later in the morning visited the scene of the killing, just off Cabot Street, not far from the Cummings Center.

Martin, Christensen’s co-defendant, whose lawyer said felt pressured by Christensen to join him that night, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter last week and received a 12-15 year state prison term.

The same deal was repeatedly offered by prosecutors to Christensen, who has rejected the offer.

Hicks, meanwhile, is scheduled to stand trial on a charge of being an accessory after the fact, later this fall. Prosecutors allege that she tried to get rid of the baseball bat used in the attack.

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

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