New England in brief

Wellesley doctor seeks new murder trial

October 8, 2009

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Dr. Dirk Greineder, the once-prominent physician now serving a life sentence for killing his wife in 1999, asked the state’s highest court for a new trial, saying that evidence about his sex life was an “attack on his character’’ and was never linked to the killing. The Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments tomorrow. Greineder was an allergist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital when he was convicted in 2001 of killing his wife, Mabel, during a walk in a Wellesley park. Prosecutors argued that Greineder killed her after she discovered his secret sex life. His lawyers contend that the lurid evidence was designed to denigrate Greineder in the eyes of jurors and that prosecutors never established that his infidelity was a motive for killing his wife. In 2007, a Superior Court judge rejected Greineder’s bid for a new trial. (AP)

3-car crash on I-95 kills 1, injures 1
A Marblehead woman died and a Plainville man was seriously injured in a three-vehicle crash yesterday on Interstate 95 northbound in Burlington, just north of Exit 33, State Police said. Jill Matsumoto, 61, was on the ramp leading from Route 3A to I-95 around noon when she struck a traffic sign and her 1996 Lexus spun across all four lanes of traffic, striking two other vehicles before ending up near the median. She was pronounced dead at Lahey Clinic in Burlington. Christopher Brundrett, 34, driver of one of the two vehicles struck, was treated at Lahey Clinic for a serious injury, State Police said. The driver of a third vehicle was not seriously injured.

Reputed mobster gets 22-year sentence
Reputed mobster Arthur Gianelli was sentenced yesterday to 22 years and seven months in federal prison after being convicted in April of involvement in hundreds of crimes, including arson, racketeering, extortion, gambling, and money laundering, authorities said. Gianelli, of Lynnfield, the brother-in-law of disgraced former FBI agent John Connolly, will get credit for almost four years served, said Christina DiIorio Sterling, a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Boston. His sentence of 271 months was the maximum sentence, DiIorio Sterling said.

Defendant pleads ignorance in wine theft
A lawyer for a Boston man accused of stealing a $20,000 bottle of wine said his client had no idea of its value. Ryan Adams was released on $500 bail after pleading not guilty in Framingham District Court on Tuesday to charges including larceny of property worth more than $250. The MetroWest Daily News reported that the lawyer for Adams, 29, asked a judge to release his client without bail because he did not know how much the 1945 Mouton Rothschild was worth and the bottle was recovered unopened. (AP)

Police officer challenges firing after fight
A Sandwich police officer charged in an off-duty fight appealed his firing last week by the town. A spokeswoman told the Cape Cod Times that the International Brotherhood of Police Officers seeks arbitration for Dennis Byrne, 38. Lisa Smith said the union is confident Byrne will get his job back once an impartial party hears details. Byrne pleaded not guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the June incident, in which his wife’s friend needed 37 stitches to his face. (AP)

Mass. Civil War vet honored at grave site
An Army National Guard color guard and a group of Civil War reenactors from the 125th New York Volunteer Infantry dedicated a new marker in a ceremony yesterday at the grave of First Sergeant William Francis. Francis, who died in 1897, is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, just north of Albany, N.Y. Civil War historian Mark Bodnar says Francis served with the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the famous all-black regiment from Massachusetts, which was featured in the 1989 movie “Glory,’’ starring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman. Bodnar said Francis was one of a dozen black soldiers from the Albany area who joined the 54th. (AP)