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Accused spouse could not get body under Mass. bill

December 31, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — A bill that would deny a person charged in the death of their spouse all legal rights to the body is awaiting Gov. Deval Patrick’s signature.

Massachusetts lawmakers on Monday gave final approval to the measure that would clarify the legal rights of family members when a loved one dies at the hands of a spouse.

Under the legislation, the right to receive the body would pass from the spouse to the parents or next of kin.

Passage comes more than three years after 19-year-old Framingham resident Heather Alleyne was fatally stabbed.

Despite being charged in her death, Alleyne’s husband, Kyle Alleyne, had first rights to receive the body and initially refused to release the body to Heather Alleyne’s family.

He has since been convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

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