Julie Corey, who was found guilty last week of murdering a 23-year-old woman and stealing her unborn child in 2009, was sentenced today to life in prison.
After a two-week trial, a Worcester Superior Court jury found that Corey beat and strangled Darlene Haynes in her Worcester apartment, and cut the baby from her womb. Haynes, a former neighbor of Corey’s, was eight months pregnant.
Corey, 39, and her boyfriend were found with the baby a few days later at a homeless shelter in New Hampshire. Corey had told friends and relatives the child was hers, prosecutors said.
Corey today received the mandatory sentence of life without parole after impact statements from several relatives were delivered, including Haynes’s older daughter, who is 9.
Joann Haynes, the victim’s grandmother, said the day she learned Haynes had been killed “will forever haunt me.”
“Not a day goes by that I do not think about her,” she wrote. “My life will never be the same without her.”
Haynes, who is raising Darlene Haynes’s two oldest children, wrote that there were no words to explain “the hurt we are all going through.”
“All these poor children know is that their mother is now in heaven,” she wrote. “What was once a happy family is now a family filled with pain and sadness.”
Darlene Haynes’s aunt, Sandra Grandmaison, described how she missed their “bonding time,” from walks on the beach to talks about everyday things.
“It’s been over four years and it’s not getting any easier,” she wrote. “Life with no parole would not bring Darlene back, but justice will have been served.”
Haynes’s cousin, Christina Grandmaison, recalled how close they were growing up, and how she still thinks of her every day.
“She was the type of person who could keep a secret and never judge you,” she wrote. “Darlene was so loving and caring that I can’t understand how anyone would take her life.”
Since Haynes was murdered, “it’s like a piece of my heart is missing,” she wrote.
“Things like being at the beach and looking for shells or dancing to music [are] not the same anymore,” she wrote. “It kills me knowing that all the things Darlene and I had planned to do together with our children will never get to happen, hurts more than words can even begin to explain.”
DNA evidence and a fingerprint on a liquor bottle tied Corey to the scene, prosecutors said, and DNA evidence showed that the baby girl belonged to Haynes.
“It’s probably the most horrific case this office has ever seen,” District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said in a statement following last week’s verdict. “This woman was killed for her baby.”
The child, now 4, lives with her father.Peter Schworm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.