A Salem Superior Court jury found Peter Ronchi guilty of two counts of first degree murder on Thursday in the stabbing death of Yulyia Galperina over three years ago. Galperina was nine months pregnant with their child.
Superior Court Judge David Lowy sentenced Ronchi, 48, of Marblehead, to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole after a three-and-a-half-week trial.
According to a statement from the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Ronchi went to Galperina's Salem Heights apartment armed with a knife and stabbed her to death on the evening of May 16, 2009. Assistant District Attorney Jean Curran argued hat the murders of Galperina and the unborn child were premeditated acts committed with extreme atrocity and cruelty.
Ronchi's attorneys, John Swomley, David Nathanson and Chauncey Wood, had argued that Ronchi acted in the heat of passion and was therefore guilty only of voluntary manslaughter.
"This verdict holds the defendant responsible for his actions in the brutal stabbing of a nine-months pregnant woman whom he supposedly loved," Blodgett said in a statement.
Curran, who was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Jana DiNatale, praised the work that rooper Brandon Arakalian of the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit, and Salem Police Sergeant Jim Page did on the investigation.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.