Boston Globe

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Woman found guilty in murder of boyfriend

By Ralph Ranalli, Globe Correspondent, 11/17/99

Soundly rejecting her claims that she was driven by battered women's syndrome to kill her live-in boyfriend, a 33-year-old Lowell woman was convicted yesterday by a Middlesex Superior Court jury of second-degree murder.

Michelle Tourigny sobbed as she was led away by court officers to begin the life sentence imposed by Judge Catherine White. Tourigny will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

''It was fair. Thank God it's over,'' said Eduardo Martin, the son of Manuel Martin, who was killed by Tourigny.

''A little by little our family is getting back on track. We're not going to forget about my father but we've got to go on,'' the son said, flanked by brothers Rudolfo, 28, and Lionel, 24.

Tourigny admitted that she was holding the knife on Sept. 11, 1998, when the 55-year-old Martin was fatally stabbed in the liver. She insisted he had come after her with the knife and they were struggling over it when the stabbing occurred.

Tourigny became the first murder defendant in Middlesex County to use battered women's syndrome as a defense since the state's highest court recognized it in 1994.

Her attorney, Brian Chance, called psychiatric experts who had diagnosed Tourigny with post traumatic stress disorder. Tourigny testified to a lifetime of physical abuse by men, including Martin.

Assistant District Attorney Julie Dale portrayed the 298-pound woman as the aggressor in her relationship with the 140-pound Martin.

This story ran on page B08 of the Boston Globe on 11/17/99.

© Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.