WOBURN (CBS/AP) — The son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing his girlfriend last year at their home in Waltham.
Jared Remy, 35, appeared in Middlesex Superior Court to plead guilty to first-degree murder, assault and battery, and violating a restraining order, among other charges in the August 2013 stabbing death of 27-year-old Jennifer Martel.
Read: Remy Decision A Surprise
Before he was sentenced to the mandatory life in prison without parole, Remy addressed the court briefly, saying “blame me for this, not my family.”
Remy’s attorney Ed Ryan said afterwards Jerry Remy was not in court for the hearing at Jared’s request.
“My family did everything they could to help Jen,” Jared Remy said in his statement, adding that he was the “bad apple” and that “if you ask my family they’d rather have me dead than her.”
Remy said he wanted to “take responsibility for what I have done.”
He then told the court he killed Martel because she had a knife and threatened him with their daughter, who was four years old at the time of the murder.
Watch: Jared Remy Statement
Remy took the witness stand at the start of the hearing to agree that he was pleading guilty to the charges voluntarily.
Judge Kathe Tuttman didn’t immediately accept Remy’s guilty plea.
Prosecutor Lisa McGovern first summarized the brutal facts of the case as Martel’s family sat in the front row of the courtroom listening.
McGovern said Remy repeatedly stabbed Martel on August 15, first in the couple’s Waltham apartment as their young daughter screamed, and then as she crawled to an outside patio.
Three neighbors tried unsuccessfully to pull Remy off Martel.
McGovern said Remy stabbed Martel in the throat, legs, arms and torso, and pinched her face.
About 45 minutes into the hearing, Tuttman accepted Remy’s plea. She then ordered a short recess before the sentencing hearing.
When everyone came back, victim impact statements were read, first from a friend of Martel’s who witnessed the murder.
Martel’s parents then submitted a written statement delivered by attorney Alex Zadik.
“We miss her phone calls,” Zadik read, “our granddaughter will grow up without a mother.”
Jennifer’s brother Brian Martel gave the final statement, saying “we have taken in Jennifer’s daughter, we try to assure her that she is safe.”
Jared Remy was arrested Aug. 13 after he allegedly pushed Martel into a mirror.
He was released on his own recognizance on Aug. 14 and allegedly stabbed Martel to death the next day.
“This is a tragedy of epic proportions,” Ryan told reporters outside court after the hearing.
Martel’s family issued this statement Tuesday afternoon:
“We do not have words to express our emotions regarding the tragic and senseless murder of our daughter, Jennifer. We hope that Jared has remorse for what he did to her and to our granddaughter. If just one family learns from our tragedy by recognizing the warning signs of domestic violence, it will help us to honor Jennifer’s memory.
At this time, we want to be with our family so that we can try to heal. We ask the press to give all of us, including the Remy family, some privacy. Together we will do our best to raise our granddaughter as her mother would have raised her.
We would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Lisa McGovern and fellow Assistant District Attorney Michael Kaneb and all of the police officers involved for their work on this case. And we’d also like to thank our attorneys Naomi Mann from Boston University Law School and Sue Finegan and Alec Zadek from Mintz Levin, and their teams.”
Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy and wife Phoebe released the following statement Tuesday:
“We continue to be heartbroken over Jenn’s death. That will never change. No words can express the sorrow we feel for the Martel family. We are now focusing our attention on our grandchildren and doing what is best for them.”
An independent review criticized prosecutors’ handling of abuse allegations against Remy.
The case prompted questions about whether Remy’s violent history had been overlooked by the criminal justice system. It led state lawmakers to propose an overhaul of the state’s domestic violence laws, including new bail guidelines and tougher penalties for abusers.
Since Remy has been in jail, he has been accused of attacking another inmate, throwing hot coffee in his face, hitting him with a plastic chair and punching him. He is a former Red Sox security staffer who was fired by the team in 2008 during a steroid investigation.
“Jared Remy perceived that he was losing control of Jennifer Martel and lashed out at her in a fit of rage, killing her,” Middlesex District District Attorney Marian Ryan said in statement.
“Today, with this plea, the defendant has been held accountable for his actions. This plea ensures that Jared Remy will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.”
Watch: WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports