Wes Doughty is escorted out of court after he sentenced to life without parole in a Peabody double murder. ( Jaime Campos, Salem News pool photo.)
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Doughty gets two life sentences in Peabody double murder

SALEM — The man convicted of a double murder in a Peabody crack house looked straight ahead without a trace of emotion in an Essex County courtroom as two families forgave him for the killings.

Wes Doughty was sentenced in Essex County Superior Court Monday to two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole for the 2017 shotgun death of Mark Greenlaw, 37, and fatal stabbing of his fiancée, Jennifer O'Connor, 40.

Minutes before the 42-year-old convict was taken away in handcuffs by two Essex County Sheriff's Department deputies and three court officers, O'Connor's younger sister, Julie Trueira, looked directly at Doughty and delivered a victim impact statement in the hushed courtroom.

"What pains my family the most was the last person she saw before dying was the face of a monster," said Trueira as her parents sat nearby. "We are willing to forgive Wes for what's he done only so we have closure. But he deserves to pay the consequences of his actions. No woman should ever die the way my sister, Jenn, died."

Margo Bollettiero-Duarte, Greenlaw's mother, said she hopes when Doughty closes his eyes every night in jail, he sees what he's done. 

"I close my eyes every night and see it, and it gives me nightmares. I have not had a night's sleep since my son was murdered," she said on the witness stand. "But I need to forgive you, because I can't go on if I don't."

On Friday, the jury convicted Doughty of murders so gruesome that investigators said they initially did not know how many victims there were. The 12-member panel found him guilty of first-degree murder in both deaths with deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity.

Prosecutors said the killings stemmed from a web of relationships and conflicts among people living or visiting the home at 19 Farm Ave. 

John Apruzzese, Doughty's attorney, said his client killed Greenlaw and O'Connor while he was high on crack to protect a "father figure" who ran the dysfunctional house.

Trueira, who managed to hold back tears on the stand, said she idolized her sister and wanted to be like her. 

"She would yell at me for stealing her clothes," she said. "It was when she started abusing drugs that our relationship changed. I yelled at her for not stopping. I would say 'Please do it for dad,' hoping her love for him would make her want to stop. It wasn't until after her death that I realized she had a disease and if she didn't want to change for herself, she wouldn't be able to change for someone else."

While Trueira admitted she was sometimes angry at her sister, that emotion could fade in an instant. 

"I'm not kidding when I say all she had to do was smile at me, and for that brief moment I would forget why I was mad at her," she said. 

O'Connor loved children, her sister said, and her ultimate goal was to be a mom.

"Sadly, she will never fulfill that dream, not because of her addiction, but because her life was taken away by another human being, someone she didn't even know, all because she was at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

Bollettiero-Duarte said her son's face was so destroyed by the gun blast, the funeral director told her not to look and to remember Greenlaw from pictures.

"He told me I would not get over what I was about to see, so I never saw him again," she said. "On Feb. 17, 2017 at 9:30 in the morning I hugged my child, my son Mark, and I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would never see him again."

Doughty declined to address the court. He did not testify in the five day trial.

Following the sentencing, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said it was a horrible case that destroyed  three families, including Doughty's mom.

"We are heartbroken for the family," he said. "We do everything we can to make sure we keep the victims in the forefront of our prosecutions and provide all the assistance we can … We can't bring the victims back, but we can do our part to provide justice."

 

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