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August 27, 2013

Controversial decision in murder case prompts call for DA's resignation

ANDOVER, Mass. — A state legislator is calling on a local district attorney to resign over her handling a high-profile domestic murder case involving the son of longtime Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.

Jared Remy, 34, has pleaded innocent to murdering his girlfriend, 27-year-old Jennifer Martel, last Thursday night. Remy had been arrested days before Martel was slain. He was released without bail last Wednesday in an open assault and battery case in which Martel was the alleged victim, said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Remy has a violent criminal history, including 15 criminal charges since 1998, according to Waltham court records, but there was no restraining order against him at the time, said Ryan.

State Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, said while responsibility for Martel's death "rests with the criminal who committed the act," he noted that she "was a victim of domestic violence who reached out to the system, and the system totally failed her."

Even with Remy's past, he said, “the Middlesex District Attorney’s office released him on Wednesday without a dangerousness hearing and without any bail requirement. The fact that the district attorney’s office let this man walk free after beating his girlfriend on Tuesday night is a total lack of competence.”

Ryan’s office rejects the call for her resignation. A spokeswoman, Stephanie Guyotte, said Lyons' message is “an unfortunate attempt to politicize a tragic situation. Our focus is on prosecuting the person responsible for killing Jennifer and seeking justice for her and her family.”

Attorney General Martha Coakley said Ryan is reviewing the circumstances of the case "to determine what, if anything, could have been done differently." The state should review its domestic violence laws, Coakley added, to determine if victims could be better protected.

Dustin Luca is a reporter for The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

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