A Marblehead man was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder in Salem Superior Court Thursday afternoon and was sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
After a three-and-a-half-week trial, Peter Ronchi, 48, of Marblehead, was found guilty in the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Yulyia Galperina, who was nine months pregnant with their child when she was killed.
As a result of the guilty verdict, Judge David Lowy imposed two mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole to be served consecutively.
On the evening of May 16, 2009, Ronchi went to Galperina’s Salem Heights apartment armed with a knife and stabbed her to death.
According to a press release, Essex Assistant District Attorney Jean Curran proved it was a premeditated act and committed with extreme atrocity and cruelty - she also proved that the killing of his unborn child was a premeditated act.
During the trial, Ronchi's attorneys reportedly argued that he acted in the heat of passion and would therefore be guilty only of voluntary manslaughter.
“This verdict holds the defendant responsible for his actions in the brutal stabbing of a nine month pregnant woman whom he supposedly loved,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a release. “I also hope that it brings some peace to Ms. Galperina’s other children.”
Curran, who was second seated by Essex Assistant District Attorney Jana DiNatale, praised the work of Trooper Brandon Arakalian of the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit and Salem Police Sergeant Jim Page for their work on the investigation, according to the release.