The state’s high court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of an Abington man who stabbed his girlfriend 83 times, then partially dismembered her body and put it in a trash barrel at his Randolph beauty supply store.
A jury convicted Edward Aduayi on April 3, 2015, for killing 28-year-old Karneetha Sanders, of West Roxbury, on the night of July 7, 2010. He was sentenced to a mandatory term of life without parole.
Aduayi challenged his first-degree murder conviction on three grounds: that a juror shouldn’t have been seated because he disclosed concerns about infidelity; that a redacted police interrogation gave a false impression to jurors; and that jury instructions on a potential not guilty by reason of insanity verdict gave the impression that Aduayi could walk free.
Writing the unanimous opinion of the Supreme Judicial Court, Justice Frank Gaziano said there was no reason to overturn Aduayi’s conviction, order a new trial or reduce the degree of guilt to second-degree murder.
Aduayi’s challenge to a juror who said evidence of infidelity “could” affect his ability to be unbiased was not challenged during the trial and the juror “unequivocally” told the judge he would weigh the evidence fairly.
April 5, 2015: Abington man guilty of 2010 murder of girlfriend
The jury heard a redacted version of a four-hour interrogation of Aduayi by Randolph police officers, and were provided with a similarly redacted transcript. His response to a redacted question from police made it seem like he said he wanted the victim to kill herself, when he was really saying that he wanted their relationship to end, according to court records.
Gaziano said Aduayi’s statement should have been redacted because the officer’s question was also redacted, but it wasn’t a grievous problem because the recording audibly and visibly skipped, showing the jurors that Aduayi was responding to a question they did not see or hear.
Any problems with that evidence were also overcome by the “overwhelming evidence of guilt,” including his statement that he stabbed her with a knife and evidence from the medical examiner that she was stabbed at least 49 times before she died, Gaziano said in the opinion.
Gaziano said Aduayi’s claim that the jury instruction on what would happen if the jurors found him not guilty by reason of insanity may have hurt his case doesn’t apply because of the timing of his trial.
The SJC opinion: Read the high court’s judgement upholding Edward Aduayi’s conviction
Seven months after his trial, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that jury instruction used in his case, which told jurors that an insanity verdict could allow a killer to walk free after spending six months in a psychiatric hospital, needed to be updated to exclude any timeframe.
At the time of his trial, the jury instruction was valid, so Aduayi has no recourse, Gaziano said in the opinion.
Aduayi, who was married, was having an extramarital affair with Sanders until she started to see a new man.
After Sanders did not report for work, her aunt reported her missing and police went to Aduayi’s family business in Randolph. Police had the phone company “ping” her phone, to find its location, near his business at 3 a.m., Gaziano said in the opinion.
Emergency responders eventually forced the door open and Aduayi appeared to have blood on him and told police that Sanders stabbed herself, Gaziano said.
Inside the basement of the business, they found Sanders’ partially dismembered body in a trash barrel along with a bloody meat cleaver. They also found a pair of men’s pants, which had both their cellphones in one pocket, and a receipt for the cleaver and a lighter, Gaziano said.
The medical examiner found Sanders was stabbed 83 times, including 34 times after she had likely died from blood loss. The knife was never found. Aduayi told a detective that Sanders stabbed him. He had cuts on his hand and foot.
July 8, 2010: Abington man charged with Randolph murder
“I lost it, and I just stabbed her again and again,” he said.
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Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Court upholds Abington man Edward Aduayi’s murder sentence