The last time Phillip Carrington stood trial in the death of Celestine Walker, the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. But on Tuesday a jury found the 51-year-old guilty of murder. Walker, 45 when she died, was found dead in her JP apartment in May 2013.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said those who loved Walker received “some measure of justice” from the decision.
“This verdict won’t return Celestine to their arms,” Conley said in a press statement, “but I hope they can take satisfaction in the knowledge that this jury saw her death for what it was – a crime of deadly domestic violence for which her abuser will be held accountable.”
Walker’s body was found on May 16, 2013, four days after she had last been seen alive. Neighbors at the Bromley Heath housing development had reported a strong odor in the building. The medical examiner ruled she had been strangled and beaten, according to a press release from the District Attorney’s office.
Six months ago, a jury deadlocked in Carrington’s first trial. It had heard defense evidence including a recorded phone call in which Walker told Carrington that other men wanted to hurt her, according to a Globe report.
Carrington abused Walker, prosecutors said, but she hid the evidence from her family. She covered bruises with makeup, for instance. Three months before her death, she had taken out a second restraining order against Carrington, according to Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham.
Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday. Carrington could receive up to a life sentence.
Conley said victims of domestic violence can access a statewide hotline at 877-785-2020, though in an emergency they should call 911.