HAVERHILL — The lawyer representing Craig Mulgrave, who is accused in the stabbing death of his wife Christina Mulgrave two years ago, told a jury that his client is guilty.
"He is guilty of murder ... of second-degree murder," attorney Edward Hayden of Lynn said. "But he is not guilty of first-degree murder."
Mulgrave's trial on the charge of first-degree murder began yesterday in Essex Superior Court in Salem, with Judge David Lowy presiding. Mulgrave, now 35, is accused of killing his wife, Christina Mulgrave, 45.
If found guilty of murder in the second degree, Mulgrave faces life in prison with the chance of parole after 15 years. If found guilty of murder in the first degree, he faces life in prison with no chance of parole.
Hayden will try to prove that Mulgrave was not in his right mind on the day he attacked his wife. He told the jury that at that time Mulgrave wasn't properly taking the medication he'd been prescribed for depression, and that following his arrest both a psychologist and psychiatrist concluded he was suffering from a major depressive disorder.
He told the jury it was important to know this as a person must be in an elevated mental state that is required for a first-degree murder conviction.
"Right now, you think he's a monster," Hayden said. "When you learn a little bit about him, your opinion might change."
Assistant District Attorney Melissa Woodard will try to prove the opposite — that Mulgrave knew what he was doing, believed that his marriage was in trouble and worried that he didn't have a job.
Her opening remarks to jury were chilling.
"My husband is stabbing me ... help, please help ... stop Craig, stop," Woodard told the jury, referring to a 911 phone call Christine Mulgrave made the day she was killed. "These are the words a dispatcher heard."