As a Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, I’ve seen a lot of horrific crimes. Truly, shocking acts. But what was discovered in Worcester this past few days, would leave anyone stunned beyond words: Not only was a 23 year-old woman found murdered in her apartment, but the 8 month-old fetus she was carrying had been cut out of her womb.
The murder victim and the baby’s mother was Darlene Haynes. Apparently a rather troubled young woman, Haynes was, at age 23, the un-wed mother of three other children, age 5 years to 18 months, with the 18 month-old in the care of the state Department of Children and Families. The other two children, ages 3 and 5, were being cared for by Haynes’ mother. Police said the 23-year-old had apparently been dead for several days, and that she hadn’t contacted family or friends since Thursday. The gruesome discovery of Haynes’ body was made by her landlord, William Thompson, who said a “horrifying smell” led him to her apartment, where he found her body wrapped in bedding in a closet. While her death was ruled a Massachusetts homicide, the exact cause of Haynes’ death has yet to be determined pending toxicology tests, At this point, the autopsy indicated Haynes suffered head injuries.
Major developments in this murder case occurred yesterday, when the baby that had been cut from the victim’s uterus was located, and a suspect in this murder was arrested. Surprisingly, (some would say shockingly,) the baby appeared to be in good health. Julie Corey, 35, of Worcester, Massachusetts, and a male companion were arrested in the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire, where police found them with the baby. Corey was charged as a fugitive from justice and is to be arraigned in District Court in Concord, New Hampshire today. As of the time of my posting, Corey was in custody and could not be reached for comment; it is unclear at this point whether or not Corey has a lawyer. Police in New Hampshire said the man found with Corey was released, and is not a suspect at this time. (So much for the oft-stated claim by feminist groups, that women don’t commit violent crime, but only men.)
Suspicions around Corey began to swirl when she reportedly told acquaintances that she delivered the baby sometime late Thursday or early Friday at an undisclosed hospital, but friends and observers were confused about how Corey could be home so soon after giving birth. By later Friday (allegedly less than a day after she gave birth to the baby,) Corey was actively showing the newborn off to acquaintances, police said, and she hardly appeared to be someone who just gave birth. Police investigators said that Corey had reportedly gone to New Hampshire to relocate. Reportedly, she arrived at a Plymouth homeless shelter Tuesday night. She allegedly told workers there that the girl was 6 days old and identified herself as the mother – yet had no information on the child, according to the Union Leader in New Hampshire. Corey was arrested Wednesday as she tried to leave the shelter with the infant after workers alerted police and a nurse began photographing the baby with her cell phone, according the Union Leader.
While admittedly revolting in its details, as a Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, I can tell you that this case illustrates a great deal about the law of several crimes: murder, assault, battery, mayhem and attempted murder. I’ll talk in greater detail about these in my next post.
In the meantime, try not to lose faith in humanity and the human condition. Cases like these strain that belief to the limit.