, Salem, MA

Local News

October 13, 2012

Daughter: 'I was shocked'

Testimony under way in slaying of pregnant woman


She just feared she was a difficult person to get along with, her daughter testified.

Swomley then turned to a series of questions aimed at Galperina’s beliefs. He asked about Galperina’s objection to immunizations, about her use of “holy water” she had ordered online, about the Russian tradition of barring guests for the first 90 days of an infant’s life, about whether the 2-year-old had ever seen a pediatrician.

Curran objected to each question, challenging their relevance or the basis of Nepomnyashchaya’s knowledge, and each objection was sustained by the judge, who again reminded jurors that the questions themselves were not evidence for them to consider.

Ronchi at one point broke down in tears yesterday, as jurors were shown photos of Galperina’s pregnant, bloodied body on the floor of her apartment, her swollen belly, marked with wounds, exposed.

That photo was shown to jurors during the testimony of Alvaro Espinal, 26, who had arrived at the apartment complex that morning to meet his friend Cruz. The two friends, who had gone to Salem High School together, also worked together at the Courtyard by Marriott in Revere, and they carpooled to their job.

But on that morning, Espinal stepped off the elevator to find two young children, a boy and a girl.

“They grabbed my hand,” he testified through a Spanish interpreter. The children led him to their apartment.

How were they acting, asked the prosecutor.

“He was calm, but he didn’t know if his mother was alive or dead,” said Espinal.

Once at the apartment, he saw Galperina’s body.

“I was scared, so I called 911,” said Espinal. A dispatcher asked him to check to see if Galperina was alive. “They asked me to put my fingers here,” he said, pointing to his own neck, “to check to see if she was breathing or her heart was still beating.”

“How did she feel?” asked Curran.

“She was cold,” Espinal said.

Testimony in the trial will resume Monday.

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




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