Julia Enright found guilty of second degree murder for 2018 killing of Brandon Chicklis

  • Julia R. Enright of Ashburnham, Mass., at her arraignment on murder charges in Winchendon District Court in Gardner, Mass., in 2018. File photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/29/2021 2:33:44 PM

A Worcester Superior Court jury found Julia Enright guilty of second-degree murder in the 2018 death of her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Chicklis.

After 11 days of trial, jurors began deliberations Nov. 23, and continued those deliberations all day Nov. 24 before picking up again on Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday. The jury delivered its verdict Monday morning.

In a interview video recorded by the Worcester Telegram outside of the courthouse Monday, Worcester District Attorney Joe Early said the his office was “as pleased as we can be with the outcome of the case, and thank the jurors for their service.”

Early’s office was seeking a first-degree murder conviction.

“You're always hoping for a first-degree; the evidence was what it is, but you have to respect the juror's decision. Over 200 pieces of evidence, they took their time with it, but we're happy with the decision. Can't be unhappy with a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole. Justice was served,” Early said.

Enright is expected back in court in January for sentencing.

Enright, 24, was accused of stabbing Chicklis, 20, of Westminster, after luring him to a treehouse outside of her home in Ashburnham, Mass., on the night of June 23, 2018. Police say Enright and her boyfriend then wrapped Chicklis’s body in a blanket and covered with trash bags and duct tape and disposed of it in a wooded area on the side of Route 119 in Rindge.

Chicklis was first reported missing on June 24, the day after police believe he was murdered. Five days later, his car was discovered in the parking lot of the Hannaford supermarket on Route 202 in Rindge. His body was discovered by a jogger in a wooded area off of Route 119 July 10, only about six miles from Enright's home.

Chicklis and Enright were once classmates at the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, and had at one time dated, but were not together at the time of the murder.

Enright initially told police she and Chicklis intended to meet that day, but he never showed up. Later, she admitted she and Chicklis had met on June 23 and drank alcohol and smoked marijuana together in her vehicle, but he had left to purchase narcotics and had not returned. Eventually, she admitted to stabbing Chicklis, but claimed she did so in self-defense after he sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutors sought a charge of first-degree murder for Enright. The key distinction between first- and second-degree murder is premeditation or planning. First-degree murder is defined as both willful and premeditated. Second-degree murder, which is what Enright was ultimately found guilty of, is when a murder is intentional, and with malice aforethought, but done without premeditation. Under Massachusetts law, a person convicted of second-degree murder may be committed in “the heat of the moment” and with the intent to kill the victim, but prior to that moment, the killer had no intent to commit murder, or when a death occurs while perpetrating another felony.

According to trial affidavit on file with the Worcester Superior Court, investigators alleged Enright has a fascination with blood, bones and death, and private writings and texts from Enright both to Chicklis and her boyfriend showed an element of pre-planning Chicklis’s murder.

In an April 2019 affidavit filed by prosecutors, it was alleged that on the day before the murder, Enright invited Chicklis to her home, and told him she had a “surprise idea in mind,” but that it could only happen if “no one knew we were hanging out.” Further, the affidavit alleged she also texted her boyfriend and also told him that “hopefully” she would “have a surprise” for him.

Police also found writings authored by Enright where she wrote about an “insatiable curiosity to kill a person” and of wanting to cure the world of overpopulation, according to the affidavit.

Material from prior Ledger-Transcript reporting was used in this article. Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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