Daily Mail, June 27, 2023
The man charged in connection with the murders of three family members in their Newton, Massachusetts home pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered to be held without bail during his Tuesday arraignment.
Christopher Ferguson, 41, was arraigned in Newton District court on Tuesday afternoon on a murder charge for the stabbing death of Gilda D’Amore, 73, her husband Bruno D’Amore, 74, and her mother, Lucia Arpino, 97.
Ferguson was kept from public view during the arraignment and a not guilty plea was entered for him. His next hearing is scheduled for July 25.
Ferguson was arrested Monday while hospitalized for an undisclosed medical condition Monday.
Dmitry Lev, his court-appointed attorney, did not comment when asked for an update on Ferguson’s mental and physical status.
A law enforcement statement of probable cause in the murder arraignment included vivid and disturbing details of the crime scene.
‘Lucia Arpino had a knife embedded in her body; another knife with red-brown stains was found in the kitchen,’ read the filing. ‘All three deceased had severe apparent knife injuries and blunt force trauma.’
The statement said that investigators tracked down and spoke with Ferguson’s ex-girlfriend.
‘She knows Ferguson to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and told them he had been in a manic episode since February 2023,’ the document reported, adding that the couple had split up the month before.
The slain couple had been set to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at Our Lady Help of Christians Church on Sunday. But when they failed to show up, a concerned friend went to check on them and found them and Arpino stabbed to death.
Authorities on Monday described the scene as bloody, with clear indications that the D’Amore’s, who are both in their 70s, put up a fight in an attempt to stop their murderer. Jill had been stabbed more than 30 times before she died, medical officials determined.
Massachusetts State Police found fingerprints, as well as a bloody bare footprint that they matched to Ferguson, who had been spotted on surveillance footage in the area Saturday night.
Ferguson was seen ‘staggering’ in the area with no shoes and no shirt at 5.20am Sunday, according to the Middlesex District Attorney. It is unclear if that was before or after the alleged murders, but Ryan said it was about 100 yards from his home and about four-tenths of a mile away from the crime scene.
Authorities said Ferguson did not personally know the D’Amores or Arpino and they believe the stabbing was ‘random.’
Ryan also said Ferguson was previously ‘known to police,’ though it is unclear whether he had any prior arrests.
He is now charged with homicide, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and burglary. Ryan said she expects further charges once the autopsies on all three victims are complete.
A medical examiner found that Jill had suffered over 30 stab wounds after Ferguson allegedly broke into her house Saturday night.
Police on the scene found a screen window torn in the basement and blood on the ground. They also found a blood-stained knife in the kitchen.
There were also apparently signs of a struggle, including broken furniture and a crystal paperweight covered in blood.
Investigators said they had matched a bloody footprint from the scene to the suspect.
Ferguson was previously prosecuted in the same district in 2005, when he was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
Instead of a sentence, he was placed on pre-trial probation and ordered to undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluations.
The charges were then dismissed in 2006, upon the completion of the pre-trial probation.
Neighbors of Ferguson said Monday that he had been dealing with mental health issues that have worsened over the last month, while he has not been taking his medicine.
They said that he’d recently lost his job at a local Whole Foods store and that his family had repeatedly tried to get him mental health care.