James Maguire-Clark, 23, a British citizen, pled guilty this past Wednesday to the Murder of Eleanor Clark, 80, a Weston grandmother, who was murdered in March of 2009.
Maguire-Clark, whom Middlesex County prosecutors say had a history of mental illness, pled guilty to Second Degree Murder for stabbing the elderly woman to death in her Weston home. Clark was found dead in her home after police were called and found Maguire-Clark in the kitchen.
With a history of mental illness, Middlesex County prosecutors acknowledged “the legitimate documented and demonstrated issues regarding the defendant’s relevant and legally recognized mental health and diminished capacity.”
It is apparent that, had this case gone to trial, Maguire-Clark would have raised the Defense of Insanity or Lack of Criminal Responsibility. Under Massachusetts law, a person is not guilty of a crime if lacked the ‘criminal responsibility’ when he committed the crime. By definition, a person is lacking in criminal responsibility if he suffers from a mental disease or defect, and as a result, either he is substantially unable to appreciate the criminality or wrongfulness of his conduct; or he is substantially unable to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.
With his plea to Second Degree Murder, Maguire-Clark will be sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 15. In the event Maguire-Clark is paroled, he will then be sentenced to probation for an additional 20 years.
Second Degree Murder:
Murder that is not committed with deliberate premeditation and malice, extreme atrocity or cruelty, or in the commission of a felony, is Murder in the Second Degree.
There are two elements that the prosecutor would have to prove in order for someone to be convicted of Second Degree Murder:
- The defendant committed an unlawful killing (unlawful in the sense that there was no justification for it, such as Self-Defense or Insanity); and
- That the killing was committed with malice.
Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is an experienced criminal defense attorney available 24/7 to represent those accused of all major felony crimes and Crimes of Violence, including Murder.
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