Newsworthy Wrap-Up: Friday, 12/16/2011

MASSACHUSETTS – It was truly one of those “thank God it’s Friday” kind of days with just a week until the holiday truly hits our doorstep. Yet again, many of the headline across the Commonwealth are in fact NoBo regional stories. From the mysterious murder in Andover that has residents concerned to another disgraced State Trooper’s arrest in the NoBo region, this is today’s Newsworthy Wrap-Up.

Photo Courtesy of Tim Grafft/MOTT

1. A Marblehead man on trial in Connecticut for the murder of a Weslyan student was found not guilty today by reason of insanity, sparking national coverage of the verdict as well as continued coverage by the local media. A three-judge panel committed Stephen Morgan, a 32-year old Marblehead man, to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Morgan was charged with the murder of 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich, a Wesylan student from Colorado, in May of 2009. She had been brutally murdered, shot seven times while working at a bookstore cafe. Morgan believed Justin-Jinich had been stalking him, however, evidence presented by the prosecution at trial indicated Morgan in fact was stalking the victim.




2. Yet another Massachusetts State Police trooper has been arrested in the NoBo region, after  a veteran Anti-Gang Lynn officer saw Efrain Montanez, 50, of Salem, engage in a sexual act with a prostitute inside his unmarked police vehicle, according to reports. The officer approached the car, showing his badge. Montanez sped away. After running a stop sign, the suspect finally pulled over. He plead not guilty in court in Lynn District Court, was released on personal recognizance, and is due back in court January 30. Last month, another State Police trooper evaded police in Saugus after a dispute with his girlfriend, taking officers on a chase down Route One until the suspect pulled over in the Square One Mall Parking Lot., North Andover, MA3. Residents in Andover continue to worry after the murder of a wealthy couple in an up-scale neighborhood originally developed by one of the victims. Some Andover residents uneasy after double homicide. The bodies of John and Geraldine Magee, 67, were found by a relative according to police. The last murder in town was in November 1991.

Photo Courtesy of the Lynn Item / Angela Owens

4. I thought we’d end the wrap-up on a happier note in line with a more seasonal, cheerful mood. If you ever ride down the Saugus section of the Lynn Fells Parkway during the holidays, you’ve seen this house before. Close to 100,000 lights, Mike Conlon’s front lawn is perhaps the wildest display of lights north of Boston. Conlon has been decorating his Saugus home like this for 12 years. Where it would have cost him $1,400 to power everything three years ago, his gradual change to LED lighting has dramatically cut costs. Drivers beware. The traffic is a nightmare.

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