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Jurors Hear Gunshots in Voicemail

April 9, 2002

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ The jury in the trial of a man accused of killing seven colleagues at a software company listened to a chilling voicemail recording Tuesday with a rapid succession of gunshots in the background.

Michael McDermott, 43, a software engineer, is on trial for gunning down his co-workers in 2000 in what prosecutors said was revenge for Edgewater Technology’s plan to withhold some of his wages to pay off back taxes owed to the IRS. He claims he was insane at the time.

More than 30 victims’ relatives and jurors listened while prosecutors played the voicemail message. Also, an Edgewater employee took the stand and tearfully described hearing three of his co-workers beg for their lives and then get shot.

``I heard Louis (Javelle) say, `Mike, why?′ Then I heard a loud pop. ... Then I heard a grunt,″ said Jonathan Land, vice president of consulting services. Land said he heard Craig Wood say, ``Mike, no,″ followed by another series of loud banging sounds.

He said he crawled under his desk, heard more noises coming from the accounting office, then heard payroll manager Rose Manfredi scream.

``Then there was a scream that again sounded like Rose’s voice. Then there was a scream that sounded like terror. Then the scream went to pain,″ Land said, weeping. ``They were all coming from Rose.″

Land said he heard more shots, then crawled out from under his desk and ran out of the building. He saw Javelle’s body on the floor as he left.

The voicemail recorded 13 loud popping sounds heard as a woman talks.

Prosecutors would not identify the woman but said she worked on the second floor of the building. Edgewater’s offices take up the first floor and a mezzanine level. She did not mention gunshots and it is clear from her message that she did not realize the terror going on below her.

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