For Immediate Release - December 22, 2014

Marblehead Man Arraigned for Murdering His Girlfriend

John Devine, 28, of 27 Sparhawk Terrace, Marblehead was arraigned in Lynn District Court today for murder after his 51-year old girlfriend, Tanya Nichols, was found dead on Sunday morning at their home.  Judge Cathleen Campbell ordered him held without bail and allowed a motion by the Commonwealth to revoke his bail in an open assault case involving Ms. Nichols.  A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Kim Gillespie told the court that Marblehead Police and Emergency Services responded to 27 Sparhawk Terrace on Sunday, December 21 at 11:17 am for a report of a possible dead body.  Responding personnel found Ms. Nichols in a large pool of blood and with obvious head wounds lying behind the partially open door of her bedroom.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.  According to witnesses, Ms. Nichols was allegedly seen and heard on Friday evening in an argument with the defendant.  A witness reported allegedly seeing her on Saturday lying on the floor of her bedroom but did not note any serious injuries.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death.

On November 17, 2014, the defendant was charged with assault, threat to commit a crime and malicious destruction of property in a case involving the same victim.  The defendant was released with a bail warning and was ordered not to abuse the victim.  The Commonwealth requested $1500 cash bail and that he be ordered to stay away from and have no contact with the victim.  That request was denied.

The defendant is represented by Attorney John Morris and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  He is scheduled to appear in Lynn District Court for a Probable Cause Hearing on February 2, 2015.

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