PEABODY — Nearly 14 years after he admitted to his role in the slaying of Kristen Crowley outside her Peabody condominium back in 1996, a South Boston man will be in front of the state's Parole Board tomorrow asking to be let out of prison.
John Keegan, now 41, plead guilty to second-degree murder on the day his trial in Crowley's death was set to get under way back in October, 1997.
Like his co-defendant, Timothy Dykens, who was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder, Keegan received a life sentence, but unlike Dykens, he became eligible for parole after serving 15 years. (Keegan received credit for the time he spent in custody awaiting trial after the June 2, 1996 killing).
Crowley, 27, a tall, stunning, blonde newlywed, was on her way home after a night out with friends when she stopped at a gas station convenience store on Lowell Street, near the condo she shared with her husband John.
Also at the store that night were Dykens and Keegan, two ex-Marines who'd spent the night at the Golden Banana.
The two men commented on Crowley's appearance. A teenage clerk, apparently trying to join in the "guy talk," told them Crowley also worked sometimes as an exotic dancer.
"You know what we got to do," Dykens said.
The reaction of the men worried the clerk, who walked Crowley to her car. But Dykens and Keegan then followed her as she drove home, and attacked her at her doorstep.
They dragged her away and tried to rape her, then killed her.
Dykens was convicted of crushing Crowley's head with a massive, 47-pound boulder.
Dykens, who has unsuccessfully appealed his conviction, insisted Keegan was the one who killed Crowley, a defense that was rejected by the jury.
A day after Dykens was convicted, Keegan opted to plead guilty.
The Essex County District Attorney is opposed to parole for Keegan, and will have a representative at tomorrow morning's hearing to address the Parole Board, according to Steve O'Connell, a spokesman for the district attorney.
Keegan's is one of two parole hearings tomorrow that deal with North Shore murders. Tomorrow afternoon, Thomas Maimoni will make his second try at parole for the murder of Salem artist Martha Brailsford back in 1991.
Both hearings will take place at the Parole Board's headquarters in Natick and are open to the public.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or at email@example.com.