A Massachusetts woman has been found guilty of stabbing her elderly neighbor to death at her Needham home in 2017.
A Norfolk Superior Court jury found 51-year old Tammie Galloway guilty of murder in the first degree in the death of her neighbor, 81-year-old Laura Shifrina, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey announced Thursday.
Galloway, who was represented by Attorney Elliot Levine, will be held overnight and return to court Friday morning for her sentencing. She faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole, Morrissey said.
“By all accounts, Laura Shifrina lived an extraordinary life as a scientist, an émigré from Russia, a mother and a grandmother,” the district attorney said in a statement. “No verdict can return her to her loved ones, but I am pleased for the family that this jury saw the evidence as it was and returned a just verdict.”
Shifrina had last been seen alive on May 28, 2017, Morrissey said. Needham police were called to Shifrina's Linden Street home around 11 p.m. on May 31, after the victim's daughter had discovered her dead of multiple stab wounds.
Shifrina, who was a retired scientist, had failed to attend an event that evening, Morrissey said.
Investigators previously said it appeared Shifrina was taking groceries into her Linden Street apartment on May 28, when Galloway allegedly entered her apartment and stabbed her eight times, breaking four of the victim's ribs.
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Numerous items were missing from Shifrina's apartment, which was adjacent to Galloway’s own apartment in the complex, Morrissey said. Shifrina was believed to have had some cash savings in the apartment, and her red Ford Fiesta was missing.
Investigators previously said Shifrina had about $3,000 in cash that she had been saving for dental work.
Shifrina's car was eventually found in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, with the keys in the ignition and a strong smell of bleach in the interior, the DA said.
During their investigation, Needham and Massachusetts State Police detectives found video showing Galloway with a relative possessing a bottle of bleach on the morning of May 29 in the vicinity of the car.
Galloway was also found guilty Thursday of armed robbery and larceny of Shifrina's car.
The case was prosecuted for the Commonwealth by Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor, who had excellent cooperation from the Needham Police Department, Morrissey said.
“The case benefitted greatly from the hard work of Needham Detective Brian Gallerani and State Police Detective David DiCicco,” Morrissey added.