For Immediate Release - May 03, 2012

Lynn Man Arraigned On Murder Charges

Judge Orders Him Held Without Bail

Joseph Wright, 23, of 94 Sheridan Street, Lynn was arraigned on two counts of murder in the first degree in Lynn District Court this morning.  He was ordered held without bail by Judge James LaMothe.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Michael Patten stated that the “gruesome and utterly demoralizing nature of these crimes combined the defendant’s flight to Canada,” are the basis of his request that the defendant be held without bail.

On May 1st at approximately 7:00 a.m. a janitor at the Lynnhurst Elementary School in Saugus discovered two bodies, covered with tarps, on the ground outside the back of the school.  Saugus Police, Essex County Massachusetts State Police Detectives and MSP Crime Scene Services responded to the scene.  They determined that the victims’ throats had been slashed.

Investigators were able to make a preliminary identification of the bodies as Donna Breau, 54 and Melba Trahant, 83, both of 94 Sheridan Street, Lynn. Upon entry of the victims’ residence , investigators discovered blood all over the living room couch in the first floor apartment where Ms. Trahant lived.  Inside of Ms. Breau’s second floor apartment, investigators discovered a mattress saturated in blood with evidence of “blood drag” across the kitchen floor, out the door and down the stairs.  The residence was secured as the primary crime scene.

When investigators determined that Ms. Trahant’s 1996 blue Toyota Corolla was missing, they issued a “be on the look out” request to law enforcement for the vehicle.  Shortly after 6:00 pm, police were notified that the Toyota had entered Canada at the Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada entry point.  When Mr. Wright arrived at the entry point, Canada Border Services officials directed him to a secondary screening area at which point he fled.  He drove approximately 3 miles, exited the vehicle and proceeded to flee on foot.  He was subsequently apprehended by Canadian law enforcement officials and returned to the border.

Consistent with Canadian law and procedure, Mr. Wright was advised of his rights under the Vienna Convention related to the charges for his conduct in Canada. Upon being informed of these rights, Mr. Wright stated, “That’s nothing, I just slit the throats of my mother and grandmother in Massachusetts.”  At that time, he was advised to stop talking and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police turned Mr. Wright over to U.S. Customs & Border Protection who then turned him over to Maine State Police.  He was held in the Aroostook County Jail and waived extradition at a hearing in Houlton District Court in Houlton, Maine yesterday afternoon.  Massachusetts State Police Detectives returned him to Massachusetts last night. 

Investigators did discover a knife in the sink of the second floor apartment with apparent blood stains on it.  Saugus Police informed the Essex District Attorney’s Office this morning that Mr. Wright used his mother’s credit card six hours before the bodies were discovered and there were subsequent attempts to use the card in Maine on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Wright must appear in court on May 29, 2012 for a probable cause hearing.  He is represented by Attorney John Morris.

A conviction for murder in the first degree carries a mandatory life sentence.  The charges against Mr. Wright are allegations and he enjoys the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.