SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 11, 2012

Defense seeks to bar photos of baby

SALEM — Lawyers for the Marblehead man charged with repeatedly stabbing his pregnant girlfriend, killing both her and their unborn but nearly full-term baby, sought yesterday to prevent prosecutors from using autopsy photos of the fetus.

“There’s nothing to look at other than a blue child,” said defense lawyer Chauncey Wood, one of three privately retained attorneys representing Peter Ronchi, 48, in his trial on two counts of first-degree murder.

At the reference to his dead son, Ronchi, who has claimed the attack was provoked by Yulyia Galperina’s purported statement that the baby she was about to deliver was not his, Ronchi broke down in the courtroom, weeping into a handkerchief during the late-afternoon hearing in Salem Superior Court.

Wood argued that the photos would serve only to bias the jurors against his client.

Judge David Lowy, meanwhile, said he cannot rule one way or the other on the autopsy photos until he hears testimony from the medical examiner, leaving the issue unresolved for now.

It was one of a series of contentious motions in the case, argued at the end of a second day of jury selection in the trial, which Ronchi’s lawyers have said could last up to five weeks.

The lawyers have now gone through two full Superior Court jury pools of about 70 people each and yesterday considered another 10 potential jurors who were sent over from Peabody District Court after lunch. They still need to choose two more jurors, a task that Lowy told the lawyers should be completed this morning.

Lowy told the lawyers that he expects to have opening statements in the case by 11 a.m.

But before then, the judge will have to rule on several other pretrial motions, including a request by the prosecution to prevent the defense from calling a series of “bad character” witnesses.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Comments Tracker