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A woman who claimed self-defense after she killed her ex-boyfriend and dumped him on the side of the road was found guilty of second-degree murder and will face life in prison.
On Monday, Julia Enright, 24, was convicted of brutally killing Brandon Chicklis, 20, on June 23, 2018, according to Telegram & Gazette. The phlebotomist, who had a side business as a dominatrix, lured Chicklis into a treehouse outfitted with restraints before stabbing him to death.
Enright initially claimed that she killed Chicklis in self-defense after he sexually assaulted her, as previously reported. Prosecutors, however, argued the murder was premeditated, drawing on the defendant’s disturbing hobbies and fascination with blood to support their case.
During the 11-day trial, jurors didn’t believe the state had adequately proven that the murder was planned, therefore convicting Enright of second-degree instead of first-degree murder. If they found that Enright had acted in self-defense, Massachusetts state law would have dictated they find her not guilty.
“You can’t be unhappy with a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., according to the Gazette. “They just did an incredible job with a very difficult set of circumstances, a very difficult set of facts.”
Chicklis’s family, who was present in court, declined to comment on the verdict, according to Early.
During the trial, prosecutors painted Enright as a bloodthirsty killer who lured Chicklis into the treehouse to fulfill a violent sexual fantasy. They claimed Enright carried out the killing as a gift for her new boyfriend, John Lind, according to the Gazette. The state referenced Enright’s journal, in which she claimed to be “turned on” by the gift, though Enright said she was referring to a grave-robbing exploit.
“I just have an insatiable curiosity to kill a person,” Enright read in court from her diary.
John Lind invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when called to testify in the trial, according to the Gazette. Enright stated Lind helped her dispose of Chicklis’ body.
While no charges were pressed against Lind, prosecutors said on Monday that they’re looking into a possible “co-defendant” in the case.
The prosecution called into evidence Enright’s fixation with the macabre, including an event when the defendant attempted to bribe Planned Parenthood employees to hand over her aborted fetus so she could “play with its bones,” as previously reported. The jury heard of items collected from her home by the State Police, including used condom collections and vials of blood.
Jurors also heard the testimony of Sandra Olsen, who’d known Enright since high school, on how Enright collected roadkill and kept them in cages around her home. Olsen claimed Enright kept the carcasses in tarps to accelerate the decomposition process.
Chicklis’ skeletal remains were found on the side of a highway 17 days after a missing person report was submitted to the New Hampshire State Police. His body was wrapped in a tarp and garbage bags, according to the Gazette.
The medical examiner noted cuts to Chicklis’s chest and dozens of slit marks on his T-shirt.
“The case involved nearly 240 exhibits and more than 45 witnesses from multiple jurisdictions,” District Attorney Early said in a news release. “The verdict today is a direct result of their diligent and meticulous work.”
Brandon Chicklis was described as a “kind young man that was loved,” according to his obituary. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America for more than a decade and worked for an HVAC company at the time of the murder.
Enright is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 18.
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