SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

August 22, 2013

Former Essex DA tapped to review Remy release

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — The Middlesex County district attorney, under fire for her office’s decision not to seek bail for Jared Remy in a domestic assault case the day before he allegedly killed his girlfriend, has tapped former Essex District Attorney Kevin Burke to review the case.

Burke, who spent 24 years as the district attorney, was asked, along with the current Norfolk County first assistant district attorney, Jeanmarie Carroll, to review the handling of a domestic assault and battery case against Remy, who was released without having to post bail following his arraignment Aug. 14.

On Friday, Remy, the son of Red Sox commentator and former player Jerry Remy, was charged with killing his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, at their Waltham apartment building.

The decision not to ask for bail, which might have kept Remy in custody or away from Martel, has come under fire from some.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office has said that the decision was based on several factors, including Martel’s input and her decision not to seek a restraining order that would have barred Remy from coming in contact with her.

Burke, of Beverly, was the district attorney for Essex County from 1979 until 2003. During his tenure, he was the author of the Victim’s Bill of Rights, which now ensures that victims and their families have a voice in the prosecution of crimes, including the right to offer input on sentencing.

Burke served as the state’s Secretary of Public Safety from 2007 until 2010, and is now at Endicott College.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday evening.

Ryan, in a press release, said Burke and Carroll will conduct a “fact finding assessment and review of the circumstances that led to the release of Remy following his arrest on Aug. 13.”

The two will also look into whether the office’s policies and procedures were followed, and whether those policies are adequate in domestic violence cases.

“The death of Jennifer Martel is a horrific tragedy, and it would be irresponsible for our office not to re-examine what happened. I am confident that District Attorney Burke and First Assistant Carroll will conduct a thorough and independent review of this case, and we will utilize these findings to make any changes necessary to better protect victims,” said Ryan in a statement.

The Massachusetts Bar Association, which was among the groups to call upon Ryan to appoint an independent investigator, praised the move in a statement by its legal counsel.

“Ryan’s pick of two highly respected prosecutors, former Essex District Attorney Kevin Burke and Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Jeanmarie Carroll, will ensure a transparent review and help instill public confidence in the administration of justice,” said the MBA’s Martin Healy.

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