Dinis Moreira, a 69-year-old man from the town of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, is being held without bail for the killing of his 58-year-old female neighbor, Valerie Folsom Oakhem, who was found severely beaten in his home on Friday morning.
Oakhem was then taken to the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, but before reaching it she was pronounced dead.
The responding officers, when they reached the house in which they found Oakhem, found her laying on the floor with severe trauma to her head and numerous lacerations on her body and face. “The victim was trembling and gasping for air and appeared to be attempting to roll over,” the prosecutors said.
Boston 25 News, giving a few details on why Oakhem was at Moreira’s house the night of the vicious attack, said:
According to Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, Moreira and Oakhem were “neighbors and friends” and she had helped him a lot after his wife died.
ADA Jennifer Sprague from the Plymouth County DA’s office said in court that Oakhem was invited in for a glass of wine. It’s unclear what happened next but she says after Oakhem was beaten she suffered in agony for hours before police arrived.
The same source quotes Gail Teed, a friend of the victim, as saying, “Horrified, who expects their family member to murdered with a hammer? There was no need. Absolutely no need. This woman helped him all the time since his wife passed away. All the time. She didn’t deserve this, nothing. She didn’t deserve none of this.”
On the other hand, another neighbor claimed that Moreira was a “nice guy” and said he couldn’t imagine Moreira doing something like this, saying, “Nice guy, he’d wave to you. Come over and gave us some bread a couple of weeks ago. Nothing wrong with the guy.”
Moreira is scheduled to be in court again on June 14.
The murder is likely a shock for the town, one which Neighborhood Scout reports is far safer than many in America and doesn’t have much violent crime. That source said:
According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI crime statistics, Bridgewater is safer than 87% of the cities and towns in the US of all population sizes. In Massachusetts, only on the order of 17% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Bridgewater. If you live in Bridgewater, your chance of becoming a victim of crime in the community is 1 in 327. The US average across communities from the largest to the smallest is 1 in 43.
Additionally, NeighborhoodScout analyzed all cities and towns in America with a similar population size to Bridgewater, and we found that the crime rate in Bridgewater is one of the lowest in the nation for its size. This means Bridgewater is one of the safest places in America in which to live for its size, a very important finding.
Now let us turn to take a look at how Bridgewater does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Bridgewater.
NeighborhoodScout’s research shows that Bridgewater’s violent crime rate is 1 per one thousand inhabitants, which is about average for all communities in America, across all population sizes. Violent crimes that are tracked and included in this rate are armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape (not statutory), and murder and non-negligent manslaughter. Roughly similar to the national average, our analysis shows that your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Bridgewater is one in 960.
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