Coakley wants domestic violence laws reviewed
Aug. 19, 2013
BOSTON (AP) — The state's top law enforcement official called Monday for a thorough re-examination of domestic violence laws in Massachusetts and a review of the circumstances surrounding the murder case involving the son of Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.
Jared Remy, 34, is accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, 27-year-old Jennifer Martel, a day after being released in court on personal recognizance for allegedly assaulting her. He pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and domestic assault and battery charges.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, in a statement released to The Associated Press and expanding on comments she made earlier in the day, called the killing a "horrible tragedy," while stopping short of criticizing the way the case had been handled by the Middlesex District Attorney's office.
"It is my understanding that District Attorney Marian Ryan is conducting a full review of all the circumstances involved in this case, as should be done. It is important to get all the facts to determine what, if anything, could have been done differently," Coakley said.
The attorney general added that she intended to work with legislators, prosecutors, victims' advocates and others with an eye toward strengthening current laws.
"It also is time to re-examine the domestic violence laws in (Massachusetts) to determine if there are changes that can better protect victims," she said. Her statement did not specify any laws or procedures that she believed might warrant change.
The district attorney's office has defended its decision not to seek bail for Remy in the earlier alleged assault case, noting that there was no active restraining order against him and that Martel had not chosen to pursue one at the time.
Remy, who was ordered held without bail after his arraignment on the murder charge, has a violent criminal history, including 15 criminal charges since 1998, according to Waltham court records.
In earlier comments to reporters Monday, Coakley, who served as Middlesex district attorney before her election to statewide office, praised Ryan's record in prosecuting domestic violence and dismissed as "utterly ridiculous" any suggestion that the prosecutor should step down over the case.
Remy's lawyer, Peter Bella, said Friday he was trying to figure out what happened leading up to Martel's stabbing. Bella said his own client had what could be considered defensive wounds.
Prosecutors said Markel was assaulted in the couple's home before being stabbed several times on a patio. Her 4-year-old daughter was in the apartment at the time of the alleged attack, authorities said, and was not physically injured.
Jerry Remy, a popular analyst on Red Sox telecasts and a former second baseman for the team, said in a statement over the weekend that he felt "disgust and remorse" over the allegations against his son.