There was not a dry eye in the audience when a Norfolk County Jury convicted Ryan Bois for the death of a six year old Weymouth girl. According to the Boston Globe, in a courtroom filled with emotion, Judge Janet Sanders told a packed courtroom that this was the “worst she has seen in her fourteen years a a judge” before she imposed four life term sentences. Bois was convicted for the rape, murder and kidnapping of his six year old cousin, Joanna Mullin. According to news reports, the trial lasted six days and the jury deliberated for 8 hours before convicting Bois of first-degree murder, two counts of rape, home invasion, kidnapping, larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny under $250, malicious destruction of property under $250, failure to stop for a police officer and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
During the trial the defense maintained that Bois, 22 years old, was not guilty by reason of insanity. According to the Boston Globe, the Norfolk County prosecutor countered claiming that Bois’s action were calculated when he raped his young cousin, wrapped her body in bed sheets and a quilt, stole keys to his grandmother’s sport utility vehicle, and put the body in the back seat. The prosecutor presented evidence indicating that after committing this horrific crime, Bois called an acquaintance to get some drugs and during this conversation asked the acquaintance how to dispose of a body.
Understandably unable to listen to the details that led up to their daughter’s death Mullins parents stayed away during the trial. However, many relatives and friends attended the trial at the Norfolk Superior Court located in Dedham, Massachusetts. After the jury returned the guilty verdict the prosecutor read the victim impact statement that Joanna’s parents prepared.
Joanna’s aunt, informed the convicted murderer that, “. . . we did nothing but try to help you get your life together because you were family. . . There will never be an explanation that will mend the hole in our hearts. And in our minds, this is truly the ultimate betrayal. Our beautiful, perfect daughter should still be here today. Because of you, she is not.”
There are a number of theories that a prosecutor can present to a jury to secure a verdict for first degree murder. The most common theory is that a person commited a killing with deliberate premeditation with malice aforethought. To sustain a verdict under this theory the government must prove that the act of killing was the result of deliberate planning. It is not necessary that the prosecutor demonstrate that the killer had an elaborate plan, the deliberation can take a few hours, minutes or seconds. It is the deliberative process, no matter how long or short, that is forbidden.
Depending on the facts of a case, an experienced defense attorney can mount a successful defense of self-defense, defense of another or prove that the defendant was not the individual that committed the crime and it is a case of misidentification.