, Salem, MA

October 28, 2013

Chappell guilty in slaying of Peabody social worker

Julie Manganis

PEABODY — A Suffolk Superior Court jury has rejected the insanity defense and found Deshawn Chappell guilty in the 2011 slaying of Peabody social worker Stephanie Moulton, 25, inside a Revere group home.

Chappell was being sentenced this afternoon by Judge Jeffrey Locke, and is expected to receive the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder, life in prison without parole.

Chappell, 30, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and claimed to have been hearing voices on the morning of Jan. 20, 2011, when he killed Moulton and then dumped her partially clothed body behind a church in Lynn.

But prosecutors argued to the jury last week that Chappell showed none of the delusions associated with schizophrenia and was capable of making rational decisions in his own self-interest, including waiting for the two to be alone in the Revere group home and cleaning himself of blood afterward.

For more on this story see tomorrow's Salem News and

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