A Level 3 sex offender admitted Tuesday that he murdered Jewell Alsop, a 48-year-old woman whose body was found inside a Boston Public Schools delivery truck in Dorchester on Feb. 26, 2009.
Fitzhugh Newton III pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to second-degree murder on the first day of jury selection in his trial. He was given the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 15 years in prison, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.
Newton, 54, was about to be tried on a charge of first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
In Judge Raymond Brassard’s court, Newton admitted strangling Alsop on Feb. 25, 2009 and then leaving her body in the van where workers discovered her around 5 a.m. the next day.
According to prosecutors, Newton was linked to the murder through DNA evidence collected at the murder scene that was then matched with Newton’s DNA profile on file with authorities because of a 1979 conviction for attempted rape and kidnapping.
At the time of her murder, Alsop was living in Arlington and was the mother of an adult son, prosecutors said.
“Ms. Alsop’s family has shown immense strength and grace in the face of their loss,” Conley said in a statement. “It shows the kind of mother she was and the kind of legacy she leaves. She made the world a better place. We hope that her loved ones can take some satisfaction in this defendant’s admission and some comfort in knowing that he will likely never walk freely in this world again.”
According to prosecutors, the victim’s son gave a victim impact statement in court. “The woman who gave me life and made me who I am was taken from me,” the man told Judge Brassard. “It’s been a very, very long road. The healing isn’t complete. But at least this part is finished.”
In addition to serving a 15-year sentence for the 1979 kidnapping conviction, Newton was also sentenced in 1996 to four years in prison for assault and battery, violating a restraining order, and stalking. In 2003, he was also given a six-month term for failing to register as a sex offender, prosecutors said.