, Salem, MA

Local News

October 22, 2013

Man gets 15-20 in fatal stabbing

Judge says Christensen's anger makes him a danger to others


“He was just a big kid inside that large body,” his sister Mary Tower said in a victim impact statement.

Outside court, she said that she was satisfied with the judge’s sentence but that “no amount of time in the world will change anything. J.P. is gone.”

During the trial, Vernazzaro’s brother Steven sat through the characterization of his younger brother as a “carny,” a drug user, and as someone who would pursue a teenage girl. He remained stoic through all of it, something the judge remarked upon during sentencing.

“If you were a spectator walking into the courtroom, you might have wondered who was on trial,” Whitehead said.

“Justice was served today with this sentence,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a press release yesterday afternoon. “This defendant, along with his friend, viciously attacked an unarmed man and left him to die.”

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

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