WALTHAM (CBS) — An independent review has found the Middlesex District Attorney’s office mishandled the Jared Remy case before Jennifer Martel was murdered.
Former Secretary of Public Safety and Essex County District Attorney Kevin Burke, and Norfolk County Prosecutor Jeanmarie Carol released their findings in a report Wednesday.
The report found Remy’s past history of violence should have been “pursued more aggressively” days before he allegedly murdered his girlfriend.
Remy is being held without bail for Martel’s murder August 15 in their Waltham home.
He was charged with assault and battery after police said he pushed Martel into a mirror in a bathroom in their home.
Remy was arraigned August 14th and released on personal recognizance, despite a long history of domestic violence. Remy had faced 15 criminal complaints, including assault and battery charges involving four different women.
The next day, Remy, the son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, was charged with murdering Martel. Ryan and Burke say there is no indication that Remy’s last name influenced the decision to recommend his release.
According to the review, “Remy’s domestic violence criminal history, the facts in the August 13th, 2013 police report, and the fact that there was a young child in the home were not given sufficient weight, while the victim’s decision to not come to court to extend the emergency restraining order or to request further conditions was given excessive consideration in the evaluation.”
The review states information about Remy and his prior history of domestic abuse was not “pursued more aggressively and assessed more thoroughly prior to arraignment.”
The review calls for more formalized supervision by senior prosecutors when prosecutors are making bail recommendations, a change that went into effect nationwide in August.
“I am grateful for the diligent efforts and hard work that District Attorney Kevin Burke and First Assistant District Attorney Jeanmarie Carroll put into reviewing both what happened in this case and in helping to identify areas we can improve going forward,” Ryan said in a statement. “I appreciate their thorough assessment, and I have already implemented changes to address the deficiencies identified in the report.”
Ryan says the prosecutor who made the recommendation that Remy be set free without a dangerousness hearing had worked at her office for two and a half years. She says, “He made a calculus that lead to a decision that wasn’t the best.” He still works at the DA’s office, and there is no indication he has been disciplined. Ryan says he has been forthcoming and has undergone extensive training.
Ryan’s office is currently advocating on behalf of five separate bills that are pending in the Legislature to strengthen laws pertaining to domestic violence.
One of the bills would require more comprehensive information in probation records to include information about when a defendant has previously been deemed “dangerous” by a court and to clarify when past violent offenses involve victims who are family members or intimate partners.
Ryan says she has spoken with Martel’s family. “I’ve been a prosecutor my entire life. This is my life’s work. There is no way something like this happens that we don’t feel the weight of that loss.”
Martel’s mother had no comment Wednesday.
‘There’s a lot I would love to say but I just can’t right now,” Patty Martel told WBZ-TV.
A trial date for Remy has been set for October. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.