BOSTON (AP) — A 30-year-old Boston man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2011 fatal stabbing of a mental health worker at the Revere group home where he lived.
A jury convicted Deshawn James Chappell of first-degree murder on Monday in the slaying of Stephanie Moulton, 25, of Peabody.
Before a judge gave him the mandatory sentence, Kimberly Flynn told the court her daughter “would have made a big difference in this world.”
Prosecutors said Chappell stabbed Moulton in the throat, stole her car and dumped her body at a church parking lot in Lynn.
His defense attorney, Daniel Solomon, said Chappell has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had episodes of major mental illness.
But prosecutor Edmund Zabin said Chappell planned the crime and tried to conceal it.
He lived at a group home operated by state contractor North Suffolk Mental Health. Residents usually went to work during the day, but prosecutors said Chappell skipped a clinical appointment on Jan. 20, 2011, and stabbed Moulton, a social worker, when they were alone.
The Boston Globe reports court records showed Chappell had a violent history, including a prison term for beating his stepfather, and his family told the group home they were concerned he wasn’t taking his medication. The newspaper reported Moulton wasn’t aware of his background.
Prosecutors said Chappell wrapped her body in a sheet and put it in her car, then tried to mop up a large amount of blood and set a small fire to cover up.
After Chappell dumped Moulton’s body, prosecutors said, he called his family looking for money and a place to stay. Prosecutors said he was arrested when his grandmother alerted police.
The case led to a state review of mental health workers’ safety. Flynn and Stephanie’s father, Bob Moulton, have urged greater protections.
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