Mass. woman gets life for
February 18, 2014
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A woman convicted of
killing her pregnant friend and cutting the baby from her womb was
sentenced Tuesday to life in prison while the victim’s father sat
in court holding his daughter’s ashes.
Julie Corey, 39, of Worcester, was given the
mandatory term of life without parole by a judge.
She was convicted last week in Worcester
Superior Court of first-degree murder for killing Darlene Haynes
in July 2009, three months after her own miscarriage, and passing
Haynes’ baby off as her own.
Haynes, who was eight months pregnant, was
found dead in her apartment. The 23-year-old had been beaten and
strangled with an electrical cord, prosecutors said. Her abdomen
had been cut open, and the baby was gone.
Corey and her then-boyfriend were found with
the baby two days later at a homeless shelter in Plymouth, N.H.
Corey claimed she had delivered the baby girl, who survived. She’s
now 4 and lives with her biological father.
Haynes’ father, Fred Haynes, clutched a
container carrying his daughter’s ashes in court. He wiped away
tears, too weak to stand and too distraught to speak.
‘‘This is the reminder that he has every day of
his daughter. It’s not replacement for having her, and speaking to
her ... it can’t replace his daughter,’’ prosecutor Daniel Bennett
said, referring to the urn.
The judge read a statement from Haynes’
‘‘Julie, it was mean to kill my mother. I think
it was very bad that you did that,’’ the statement read.
Corey’s lawyers acknowledged that their client
was found with the baby but said she played no role in Haynes’
They said police failed to follow up on leads
that could have implicated other potential suspects in the
killing, including Haynes’ ex-boyfriend. They suggested that
Haynes’ ex-boyfriend had given Corey and her boyfriend the baby,
but he denied that on the witness stand.
Under state law, the conviction will
automatically be appealed.
Corey sobs as jury finds her guilty of first-degree murder in
Worcester fetal abduction case
By John F. Hill - MassLive.com
February 12, 2014
Julie Corey was found guilty of
first-degree murder Wednesday in the grisly and bizarre 2009
murder of her former neighbor.
A Worcester Superior Court jury, split evenly
between men and women, deliberated for a little over a full day
before finding Corey guilty.
Corey, 39, sobbed loudly and held her face in
her hands after the verdict was read. A few feet away, Fred
Haynes, the father of victim Darlene Haynes, wept quietly.
Corey was accused of killing Darlene Haynes to
steal her baby. Haynes was 23 and eight months pregnant at the
time of the 2009 killing.
Prosecutors said Corey struck Haynes in the
head repeatedly, strangled her with an electrical cord from a
lamp, then sliced open Haynes' abdomen to take the baby.
Haynes was found dead four days later, wrapped
in a comforter and stuffed into her bedroom closet.
Prosecutors said Corey was motivated by the
loss of her own baby, stillborn when she was approximately 30
weeks pregnant. Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett said
Corey needed a baby girl to maintain the ruse that she was still
pregnant to keep her boyfriend from leaving and to stay eligible
for state welfare checks.
Corey's defense did not dispute that she was
found with the victim's baby. They argued Haynes' ex-boyfriend,
Roberto "Tito" Rodriguez, was the killer. Police initially focused
on Rodriguez, who had a history of domestic violence and Haynes
had a restraining order against at the time of her death.
The jury heard 10 days of testimony before
delivering the verdict. They found that Corey committed the murder
herself, it was premeditated, done with unusual cruelty and done
while committing another felony, kidnapping the fetus.
The fathers of both the victim and the
defendant attended the trial throughout. Both declined to comment
after the verdict was read.
In a press conference after the verdict,
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early praised his
prosecutors for success in "probably the most horrific case we've
Lead prosecutor Daniel Bennett -- who Early
called "the best prosecutor ...that I've met in my life" -- said
he was nervous until the verdict was read.
"My blood pressure pounds through my head from
the moment I finish my closing and I'm done listening to the
judge's instructions," Bennett said. "The entire time, I am
Early also praised Worcester Police Department
for its work on the case, which took more than four years to get
to trial. Corey's attorneys spent much of the case attacking the
police investigation, suggesting they had failed to collect
evidence or follow leads that would have proved Rodriguez was the
"We did raise some salient and important
points," co-defense attorney Michael Wilcox said. "They obviously
resolved them against Miss Corey."
Co-defense attorney Louis P. Aloise said Corey
had been encouraged earlier in the day, when the jury asked a
question that seemed to indicate at least some members didn't
believe Corey was the killer.
"I've been doing this too long to read anything
into jury questions," he said.
The jury came back roughly an hour later with
the guilty verdict.
"And now she's facing the prospect, at 39 years
old, of spending the rest of her natural life in prison, without
any possibility of parole," Aloise said. "That -- no matter what
you think of the person, of any person -- is a sobering fact."
Corey did not testify during the trial. Wilcox
said the decision to not take the stand was made by Corey, with
the consultation of her attorneys.
Wilcox said another attorney would review all
of the trial transcripts to determine if there were grounds for an
appeal. He said it was too early to speculate what those grounds
Corey fetal abduction trial: Defense rests, Corey doesn't take
By John F. Hill - MassLive.com
February 10, 2014
Closing arguments will be made Tuesday in the
Julie Corey fetal abduction murder trial, after the defense
wrapped up its case Monday.
Corey, of Worcester, is accused of killing her
former neighbor in 2009 to steal the pregnant woman's unborn
child. She did not take the stand in her defense.
Judge Janet Kenton-Walker said closing
arguments will begin Tuesday morning. After what are expected to
be lengthy instructions from the judge, the jury will begin
deliberations later on Tuesday.
The final person was called to the stand
mid-morning on Monday, the trial's ninth day of testimony.
Corey, now 39, is accused of killing
23-year-old Darlene Haynes in July 2009. Authorities say Haynes
was beaten in the head and strangled with an electrical cord
ripped from a lamp. When her body was found four days later, the
pregnant woman's abdomen was sliced open and her unborn fetus was
Haynes was wrapped in a comforter and stuffed
into the bedroom closet of her apartment on Southgate Street in
After a search for the child, it was found in a
homeless shelter in New Hampshire with Corey and her boyfriend,
Corey has been charged with first-degree
murder. She would face life in prison if convicted of that charge.
As testimony wrapped up Monday, the jury heard
from two Department of Children and Families social workers. The
women testified that they had been involved with the victim's
family for months before the killing.
Haynes and her boyfriend, Roberto Rodriguez,
had a young child together at the time of her murder. The baby in
Haynes' womb was also Rodriguez's, according to DNA analysis.
Social worker Jessica Bader testified she made
several visits to Haynes' home between April and June 2009. On
June 26, Haynes called her because she had just reported to police
she'd been assaulted by Rodriguez.
Bader said Haynes was "frantic," a
characterization that the judge ordered stricken from the record.
Haynes told her Rodriguez had thrown her threw a glass table, then
ripped the phone off the wall to prevent her from calling the
The testimony matches other witness's
statements, who said Haynes got a restraining order against
Rodriguez after the incident that was still in effect at the time
of the killing. Rodriguez told police, in a video interview shown
to the jury, he hadn't been back to the apartment since.
Corey's defense has tried to focus suspicion on
Rodriguez, who another witness claimed to have seen emerging from
a nearby cemetery looking dirty and disheveled the day after the
Rodriguez was not called to testify in the
Under cross examination, Bader said she met
with Haynes a few weeks later, and Haynes expressed remorse at
reporting the assault. She broke down crying and told the social
worker she just wanted to take it all back and "felt awful about
the situation she put herself in."
In his police interview, Rodriguez said Haynes
left him 23 voice messages that day, asking to talk about
something urgent. Rodriguez ignored the calls.
The date was July 23, 2009, the day Haynes was
Julie Corey trial: Thoroughness of police
By John F. Hill -
February 7, 2014
Julie Corey's defense on Friday continued to
assail the police investigation into Darlene Haynes' murder, while
prosecutors suggested another possible motive for the crime.
The defense called several Worcester Police
Department detectives and questioned whether they had completely
investigated the crime.
A major theme of the defense's case has been a
lack of completeness in the police investigation. They have
suggested that police discarded Haynes' boyfriend, Roberto
Rodriguez, too quickly as a suspect, failing to follow leads that
suggested he may have had something to do with the murder.
Haynes was 23 and eight months pregnant when
she was killed. She was found wrapped in her comforter in her
bedroom closet, about four days after she was beaten in the head
and strangled with the cord of a nearby lamp.
Haynes' abdomen was sliced open, and her baby
was taken from her womb.
Corey, now 39, was found a few days later at a
homeless shelter in New Hampshire with the newborn. The defense
does not dispute Corey had the victim's child, but says someone
else committed the murder.
On Friday, defense attorney Michael Wilcox
grilled Worcester police detectives on a number of items found at
the crime scene and at the apartment where Rodriguez lived at the
time of the killing.
Wilcox asked two detectives and a crime scene
investigator why they hadn't paid more attention to a pair of
cut-off hospital-style pants and booties found in the trash of the
apartment Rodriguez was sharing with his mother. He also
questioned why they hadn't searched the apartment itself.
Neither the hospital pants nor the booties were
fingerprinted or tested for DNA, detectives said.
Det. John Doherty said on Tuesday the police
investigation shifted focus from Rodriguez to Corey after they
learned she left the state with a baby shortly before the body was
Wilcox also questioned whether detectives had
asked to hear some of the 23 messages Haynes left on Rodriguez's
phone the night she was killed. Rodriguez told police he was done
with the relationship and had deleted 19 of the messages.
Doherty said he didn't remember if detectives
had asked to listen to the four remaining messages.
Meanwhile, prosecutors showed evidence Corey
was facing the loss of some state benefits unless she had proof
she'd had a baby.
Inside the Ford Escort Corey and boyfriend Alex
Dion drove to New Hampshire before Corey was arrested, police
found documents relating to Massachusetts' Women, Infants and
Children Nutrition Program. The program provides nutrition advice
and money for healthy food for breastfeeding women, new moms and
kids younger than 5.
A WIC card in Corey's name showed an expiration
date just over a week after the murder. A letter from the state
urged Corey to attend an upcoming and to bring her newborn's birth
certificate, or risk losing her benefits.
Evidence from earlier in the trial showed that
Corey was pregnant in 2009, and attorneys on both sides have
suggested the baby was stillborn. A hospital report from April of
that year showed Corey was 30 weeks pregnant.
Friends told authorities they knew Corey was
pregnant, and she had a baby shower in May, but that her due date
changed several times before the baby was born.
Prosecutors also played a 2009 interview with
William Daviau, who rented a room from Haynes and Rodriguez
shortly before the murder.
Another neighbor claimed to have seen Daviau
outside the apartment with Haynes and Corey, smoking cigarettes
just hours before the killing.
Daviau, an admitted heroin addict who died
before the trial began, denied he had been back the the apartment
after moving out a few weeks earlier.
"I didn't hurt that girl... the girl didn't
deserve that, she didn't deserve that," Daviau said. "If I had any
thought of who could have done that I would have told you."
Judge Janet Kenton-Walker said Friday that
testimony should be finished early next week and the jury could
get the case on Tuesday.
Julie Corey trial: 11 things we learned
in the first week
By John F. Hill -
February 3, 2014
In 2009, a pregnant 23-year-old was
killed inside her Worcester apartment.
Darlene Haynes had been beaten in the head,
strangled with an electrical cord and sliced open, her unborn baby
stolen from her womb. A massive search was on for the perpetrator
of the gruesome crime.
A few days after Haynes' body was found, her
former neighbor, Julie Corey, was found in a New Hampshire
homeless shelter with the baby.
Corey, 39, is now on trial in Worcester
Superior Court for first-degree murder. She faces life in state
prison if convicted.
The trial began with opening statements on Jan.
27. Here's what we know after the trial's first week:
Corey has five children and had an operation
to have her tubes tied: When the killing was first reported,
many expected it had been committed by someone unable to have a
child of his or her own. If the prosecution is correct, and Julie
Corey is the killer, that's not the case.
Corey has five children, although at the time
of the killing she had only partial custody of one of them.
According to a medical record, Corey has been pregnant eight
At one point, Corey had a tubal ligation
operation to prevent her from getting pregnant again, according to
testimony from Alex Dion, her ex-boyfriend. But the operation was
unsuccessful, and Corey maintained the ability to have children.
We know this to be true, because...
Before the killing, Corey was pregnant and
apparently gave birth to a stillborn baby: A medical record
from April 2009 shows Corey visited UMass Memorial Medical Center
complaining of pain. The document says Corey was 30 weeks
Corey had a baby shower sometime in May.
Prosecutors displayed photos from the shower, showing Corey and
Dion happily opening gifts and, in one photo, playfully smushing
cake into each other's mouths.
Both the prosecution and the defense have
suggested the fetus died in the womb. The jury has seen no
evidence explaining what happened to the baby.
Corey asked people if Haynes' baby looked
like her: In the days after the killing, Corey showed off the
baby during a barbecue at her boyfriend's mother's house. She also
asked a friend, Yeris Turbi, one day who the baby looked like.
"I told her that the baby didn't resemble any
of them," Turbi testified, through an interpreter.
Several witnesses said the baby looked small,
and that her skin was spotted with dried blood.
Corey and Haynes may have been together
hours before the murder: Surveillance footage from a liquor
store on Canterbury Street, near the crime scene, shows Darlene
Haynes getting out of a Ford Escort, walking inside and making a
purchase. Prosecutors say the woman driving the car was Julie
Corey's boyfriend, Dion, owned a Ford Escort at
the time. Dion said it was very odd for Corey to be going anywhere
with Haynes. "They weren't friends," he testified.
Prosecutors say Corey made 12 calls from the
victim's phone in the hours after the killing: Corey went out
on the night of the murder to visit a friend, her boyfriend Dion
testified. She called at 11:30 p.m. to say her water had broken.
She called 11 more times that night, detailing what was happening
at the hospital, including the nurses' lax treatment of her and
the baby. Corey eventually left the hospital early, she told Dion,
because of the poor care.
The calls came from Haynes' phone, according to
prosecutors. The phone was actually in her boyfriend's name, but
Haynes listed it as her primary contact on some forms.
A bottle of Smirnoff Ice is key evidence:
So far, the only physical evidence placing Julie Corey in the
victim's apartment is a bottle of watermelon-flavored Smirnoff
Ice. On Friday, Worcester Police Department Lt. David Grady, with
the latent prints unit, testified that Corey's fingerprint was
found on the neck of the bottle. The bottle was found on a dresser
in Haynes' bedroom, just feet from the closet where her body was
Haynes' body wasn't found for four days, and
emergency responders were overcome by the smell: Haynes'
landlord, William Thompson, who found the body, said he had to
leave for fresh air before he could fully investigate the
apartment. An EMT also had to go outside after being overcome by
Grady, the crime scene investigator, said the
police asked the Worcester Fire Department for some industrial
fans to clear out all the flies.
Men were seen going into and out of Haynes'
apartment after she was killed: A neighbor, Erica Mercado,
testified to seeing a man come out of the apartment with with a
fish tank, dump the water out and leave. The man, believed to be
Timothy Tripp, another resident of the apartment building, told
Mercado he had been given permission to have the fish tank.
In the days after Haynes' death, but before her
body was found, a man was seen standing on the outside back porch
smoking a cigarette, and another man climbed into the apartment's
window, the defense claims.
Corey's defense is criticizing the police
investigation: Corey's three defense attorneys have grilled
prosecution witnesses about the thoroughness of the investigation.
They have pointed to a number of items in the apartment that
weren't tested for fingerprints or DNA, including a McDonald's
cup, cigarette butts and a number of household items.
"What the police did or didn't do in this case
is going to be very important for you to consider," defense
attorney Michael Wilcox said in his opening statement.
Haynes' boyfriend, Roberto "Tito" Rodriguez,
will be the defense's key witness: Both Haynes and a previous
girlfriend had restraining orders against Rodriguez. Calls to
Corey's boyfriend in the hours after the killing -- which the
prosecution claims were coming from Julie Corey as she pretended
to be in the hospital giving birth -- could actually have been
coming from Rodriguez as part of a conspiracy.
The defense says he was seen at the time of the
killing, a quarter-mile away, dirty and looking out of breath.
Rodriguez's DNA was also found on some first aid tape in the
The defense accused Corey's boyfriend Dion of
conspiring with Rodriguez and knowing exactly where the baby had
come from. The calls on the night of the murder could have been
coming from Rodriguez, they argued. The phone, after all, was in
Dion, who says he always believed the baby to
be his, denied the charge.
Closing arguments are expected on Feb. 10:
The prosecution is still putting on its case. Court will not be in
session on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Judge Janet
Kenton-Walker said she expects closing arguments on Feb. 10.
Family believed baby cut from womb was
Relatives of kidnapping suspect's boyfriend
even held party for child's birth
July 31, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. — Little things nagged at
Cindy Dion while her son's girlfriend, Julie Corey, was pregnant:
One month Corey said she was four months' pregnant — the next it
was eight. Her due date pushed back drastically as it neared. And
Corey suddenly refused to let Dion's son, Alex, accompany her to
But Dion put her questions aside when her
granddaughter was born last week, and her son couldn't stop
smiling. The family even held a cookout to welcome the child, whom
he and his girlfriend planned to name Alida Nevaeh.
Now, the baby is in state custody and Julie
Corey — Alex Dion's on-and-off girlfriend of two years — is in
jail on $2 million bail and has been charged with being a fugitive
from justice. She also faces an accusation that she kidnapped an
infant who was cut out of her mother's womb. The mother, Darlene
Haynes, a friend of Corey's, was found dead Monday in Worcester.
Police have not yet charged anyone in her death.
Cindy Dion said Friday it's devastating that
she got a chance to hold and love the baby when Haynes never did.
She struggles to speak when she considers she might never see the
baby she thought was her granddaughter again.
"It's killing me. I've got a hole in my heart,"
Dion said before breaking down and weeping.
Dion said Corey was clearly expecting when the
family held a shower for her in May. But looking back, Dion said,
Corey's behavior during the pregnancy was odd.
She told the family she was four months'
pregnant in April but said she was eight months' pregnant by the
shower a month later. She wouldn't let Alex Dion accompany her on
doctor's visits after a test indicated the baby might have
developmental problems. The baby was originally due in mid-June,
but Corey, 35, told the family she was going to have a cesarean
section in late July.
Dion said she was set to go the hospital July
24 to be with Corey after the procedure, but Corey called her the
night before to say she was about to give birth. Then, Corey
called Friday morning to ask her to visit the baby at her home,
not a hospital.
The blood in the baby's ear and the neck was
odd — she thought hospitals cleaned newborns much better than
Still, Cindy Dion believed the baby was Corey's
until her distraught son called from New Hampshire on Wednesday,
the day police arrested Corey. He told her, "The baby's not ours."
Dion said her biggest question is what happened
to Corey's pregnancy. Did she miscarry? If so, what happened to
the child's body? "I want to know where my grandbaby is," she
'He cried so hard'
Alex Dion couldn't immediately be reached for
comment Friday, but he told the Boston Herald he never doubted the
child was his. "I thought I had a brand-new daughter," he said.
His mother said her 27-year-old son was racked
with grief on the ride home from New Hampshire.
"He cried so hard he couldn't catch his
breath," she said. "I had to climb over the front seat and sit
with him. And he hugged me like he was a little kid."
Donna Scoville, a neighbor who drove the mother
and son back from New Hampshire, said she turned to Alex Dion and
said, "I'm sorry." Scoville said his response to her was: "I don't
want you to be sorry for me. Be sorry for that baby's mother."