A 29 year old Cambridge woman was formally charged with Murder in connection with the death of her father, Guy Verna, 62, also of Cambridge.
Gylene Verna was initially charges with Assault & Battery with the November 20th incident that involved her father, Guy Verna, who was later pronounced dead at Cambridge City Hospital.
This past week, Gylene Verna was arraigned in Cambridge District Court, charged with First Degree Murder.
The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office alleges that Gylene Verna and her father had an argument that became physical when he struck her. Cambridge Police say that Gylene Verna then allegedly squeezed his neck.
The Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner’s Officer reportedly determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation by manual strangulation.
If the evidence demonstrates that Gylene was first attacked, then she may very well have a Defense of Self-Defense.
Under Massachusetts law, a person may use reasonable force to defend himself from physical attack. At trial, once the defendant has raised the defense of self-defense, it is then the prosecution’s burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant did not act in self-defense.
However, even where a person is entitled to use self-defense, the person may not use any more force than is reasonably necessary in all of the circumstances to defend himself. The question the jury will have to face in this case if self-defense is raise, is whether Gylene’s actions in defending herself were reasonable.
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