SALEM — Michael Hebb, 45, who was charged in connection with a gruesome double homicide in Peabody last February, appeared in Salem Superior Court on Monday to learn what his possible sentence could be.
Hebb appeared before Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley for a lobby conference, which is when a defendant asks the court to indicate what sentence it would impose if he were to plead guilty, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.
Hebb is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of murder and attempted arson of a dwelling in connection with the murders of an engaged couple, Mark Greenlaw, 37, and Jennifer O’Connor, 40, at 19 Farm Ave. on Feb. 18, prosecutors said.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall recommended the court impose a six- to seven-year state prison sentence, followed by five years of probation. She told the court that if Hebb chose to plead guilty, the one count of accessory after the fact as it relates to the murder of Greenlaw would be dismissed, as there is still a possibility that he could be charged with that murder, prosecutors said.
Jennifer’s father, Edward O’Connor, gave a victim impact statement to the court. He was accompanied by Jennifer’s mother, Carole, and sister, Julie.
Hebb’s defense attorney, Ray Buso, recommended a three-to five-year state prison sentence, followed by five years of probation, but prosecutors said Feeley indicated that he would adopt the Commonwealth’s recommendation of six to seven years in state prison, followed by a yet-to-be-determined probation period.
Hebb is the alleged accomplice of Wes Doughty, 40, who was previously arraigned on two counts of murder and one count each of rape, attempted arson, carjacking, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Doughty is accused of raping O’Connor, trying to set the house on fire, and of the separate armed carjacking of a 64-year-old grandfather in Middleton days later while on the run.
Doughty allegedly shot Greenlaw once in the face with a shotgun, and repeatedly stabbed, slit the throat and raped O’Connor, prosecutors said.
In a court appearance in May, prosecutors said the Farm Avenue home had been operating as a crack cocaine dealing business and Hebb was one of the principals involved in the drug’s distribution. Hebb and Doughty had spoken frequently about Greenlaw’s incursions into the home, and there was some suggestion that Greenlaw was moving in on Hebb’s role in the crack cocaine business.
Prosecutors said Hebb participated in cleaning up and wrapping the bodies, which were found in bags and wrapped in cellophane and a carpet.
The case is scheduled for either a status hearing or change of plea hearing on Oct. 4.