Beverly man who alleged insanity convicted of murder in wife’s death

A Salem jury rejected Axel Scherer's insanity defense in the murder of Edith Black-Scherer.

Axel Scherer, 45, arraigned in Salem District Court on Tuesday November 17, 2015.
Axel Scherer is arraigned in Salem District Court, Nov. 17, 2015. –Mark Lorenz / The Boston Globe

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts jury has rejected the insanity defense of a man charged with strangling his estranged wife.

The Salem jury rejected 48-year-old Axel Scherer’s argument of lack of criminal responsibility, otherwise known as an insanity defense, and found him guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday. The Salem News reports Scherer faces an automatic sentence of life in prison with eligibility for parole after 15 years.

Prosecutors say the Beverly man strangled 45-year-old Edith Black-Scherer on Nov. 16, 2015 then walked into the Beverly police station to tell officers what he had done. Black-Scherer was found alive, but later died at a hospital.

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Scherer — who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but was found competent to stand trial — remains held at a psychiatric facility.

Scherer’s lawyer declined comment.

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