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WAKEFIELD â€“ A Hopkinton man accused of murdering Peter E. Newman in 2011, pleaded no contest to a reduced charge in Washington County Superior Court Tuesday.
Accused murderer Jared L. Tefft pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree murder before Judge Melanie W. Thunberg.
Tefft, now 30, allegedly murdered Peter E. Newman, then 44, on Jan. 26, 2011, and then set fire to the home of his parents, Judith and Jeffrey Tefft, at 110 Woody Hill Road in Hopkinton.
Tefft was originally charged with one count of felony murder, two counts of first-degree arson, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of simple assault.
The Statewide Grand Jury indicted Tefft on the five charges on Sept. 28, 2011, and the case was expected to go to trial.
Instead, Tefft pleaded no contest to the second-degree murder charge, one count of first-degree arson and one count of simple assault Tuesday. The second arson charge and the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon were dismissed.
Tefft was sentenced to 60 years in prison with 40 years to serve, with the remainder of the sentence suspended with probation, for the murder and the arson charges. He was sentenced to an additional year to serve concurrently for the simple assault charge.
According to the Rhode Island Attorney Generalâ€™s office, the plea agreement was made after consultation with Newmanâ€™s family.
Several of Newmanâ€™s family members were present in Superior Court Tuesday. His sister, Julie-Ann Gilluly, addressed the court.
â€śI cannot and will not forgive Jared Tefft,â€ť she said, becoming choked up with tears. â€śI hope my brother crosses your mind every day. You stole so much from him and all those who loved him. I hope one day God has mercy on you because I never will.â€ť
Gilluly continued, â€śNever will I again hear his voice, his laughter or feel his hug. He loved his kids and would climb mountains if it put a smile on my motherâ€™s face.â€ť
Newman left behind three children.
â€śI ask you to remember the good in my brother,â€ť Gilluly said.
Judge Thunberg expressed condolences for the familyâ€™s loss.
Attorney Kevin Dwyer represented Tefft and Attorneys Mark Trovato and Amy Dodge prosecuted on behalf of the state.