A Massachusetts man has been charged in connection with the July 3 stabbings of a 41-year-old Montague man and his 39-year-old wife. Both victims suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack. The male victim succumbed to his wounds two days later. His wife remains in hospital and is expected to recover. The 18-year-old Franklin County resident was denied bail during a July 5 arraignment hearing. He faces a raft of felony charges including counts of homicide, aggravated assault, armed assault with the intent to murder, battery with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering, car theft and home invasion.
According to the Northwestern County District Attorney’s Office, the man forced his way into the couple’s Randall Road home and then assaulted them with two knives. After stabbing both victims multiple times, the man is alleged to have stolen the victims’ car and left the scene. He was apprehended a short time later according to reports. The Montague Town Police Department was assisted during the search for the man by officers from the Erving and Gill Police Departments.
The case’s prosecutors have not identified a motive for the crime, but they have revealed that the victims were the man’s aunt and uncle. The man is being held at the Franklin County Jail in Greenfield and is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 25.
Prosecutors have also not disclosed whether or not the man is thought to have brought the two knives with him to the couples’ home. This could be a crucial factor during plea negotiations and in court as arriving with weapons could establish premeditation. When their clients are accused of committing violent crimes after becoming embroiled in family disputes, experienced criminal defense attorneys could argue that more lenient penalties are warranted if their actions were taken in the heat of the moment.