Janet Downing Case Study

992 Words4 Pages
Abstract On July 23, 1995, Janet Downing was found stabbed to death in her Somerville, Massachusetts home. With strong compelling evidence and creditable eyewitness testimony, Edward O’Brien was arrested for Downing’s murder. O’Brien was only fifteen years old and good friends with Downing’s son Ryan at the time of the murder. The first initial hearing judged that O’Brien would be tried as a juvenile, however this judgment would later be reversed. At a second hearing, a new judge ordered O’Brien to be tried as an adult, based on the severity and cruelty of his crime. In the fall of 1997 after a two week trial, Edward O’Brien was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Janet Downing. He was later sentenced to life in prison without parole for his vicious crime. At around 7p.m. on July 23, 1995, Ryan Downing, Edward O’Brien and some friends gathered at the Downing residence to pan out the evening’s events. As the fifteen year old boys discussed their plans, Ryan’s mother Janet was asleep on a living room couch. The boys decided to go swimming, however O’Brien excused himself by saying he was headed to Garvey Salomon’s house. A little bit later around 8p.m., Janet’s other son Paul visited the home briefly before he headed out for the night. At this time, Janet was still asleep on the…show more content…
At around 9:20p.m., three of Ryan Downing’s friends arrived at the house looking for Ryan. They received no answer when they knocked on the door and called for Ryan. The boys then heard a noise of something falling through tree branched coming from the backyard. One of the boys, John Fitzpatrick, saw O’Brien crouching in some bushes in the backyard and then he jumped out with his hands clenched by his sides. O’Brien turned to face the boys with his eyes bulging and he was laughing. O’Brien then turned and walked away down the
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