Washington Street home damaged in fire
Multiple families are displaced after a single-alarm fire on February 28 caused extensive damage to the 116 Washington St. building. No one was hurt in the incident. It is unclear how the fire began.
Smoke was reportedly emanating from the building’s basement when 911 was called at 8:08 a.m. According to the Fire Department, the blaze ventilated through several windows up to top floor of the two-story wood frame building.All people were out of the building when the fire department arrived. Crews on Engine 1 worked on the scene while Engine 5 provided water supply. The team was able to bring the fire under control by 8:34 a.m. In total it is estimated that property damage accrued close to $100,000, along with $25,000 in losses from contents.
By Melanie Higgins
Peabody resident sentenced to 10-11 years in prison for 2015 murder
A Peabody man was sentenced on February 23 by Salem Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler to 10-11 years in state prison for the June 2015 murder of his longtime girlfriend, 55-year-old Cheryl Young. Brandon Hoar, 61, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter by a jury on February 10. Prosecutors had originally sought to charge Hoar with first-degree murder.
Hoar’s attorney, Drew Segadelli, had argued over the course of the trial that the former General Electric machinist was acting in self-defense after believing that Young, who suffered from bipolar disorder, had a “crazy look” in her eye and posed a threat to the child. He said that Hoar killed her after originally trying to stave her off physically and, being unable to do so, used the knife as a last resort. Young was significantly larger than Hoar, who is 5’8”. According to Marilyn Boudreau, Young’s sister, the deceased woman had struggled with both mental illness and substance abuse for years.
Peabody police had originally responded to a call on June 16, 2015, requesting a well-being check. After they arrived, officers found Hoar sitting on the front steps of the 1 Gates Rd. home and Young inside with a knife through her chest, according to the police report. The victim’s 5-year-old granddaughter, who was supposed to be involved in a custody hearing at Salem Probate Court that day, was allegedly asleep in a neighboring room when police arrived on the scene. Hoar told officers that the girl had witnessed the killing.
By Melanie Higgins