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A man charged with kidnapping, robbing and killing one woman and assaulting three others pleaded not guilty Wednesday and was ordered held at a state psychiatric facility without bail.
Edwin Alemany whispered "not guilty" to 20 charges, including first-degree murder, at his arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court. The top charge is for the stabbing death of 24-year-old Amy Lord on July 23.
Alemany, 28, of Boston, is also charged with three nonfatal attacks on women in their early 20s, two during the week Lord was killed. The other assault allegation is from last year. Wednesday's arraignment consolidated the four cases.
The courtroom was packed with relatives of the victims, including Lord's parents, some of whom wept as Assistant District Attorney John Pappas related the details of the case to the judge. Many of Alemany's family members also attended.
Jeffrey Denner, Alemany's lawyer, didn't speak in court but has said his client has a history of untreated mental health issues.
Lord, a Wilbraham native who had attended Bentley University and moved to South Boston after landing a job with a digital media company, was kidnapped outside her apartment and beaten, Pappas said.
Her assailant then forced her to use her own SUV to drive to several ATMs and withdraw money, he said. She was then forced to drive to Stony Brook Reservation in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood, where she was fatally stabbed.
Alemany drove her vehicle back to South Boston and set it on fire, Pappas said, then spent the money she had withdrawn on scratch-off lottery tickets and a cellphone.
Alemany cut his hand with a knife he was using to assault another woman the next day, Pappas said, and went to the same hospital as the woman did for treatment.
Based on the victim's description of her assailant, hospital employees recognized Alemany and called police, Pappas said.
Alemany was tied to all four victims through surveillance video and forensic evidence, Pappas said.
Lord's death shook the neighborhood and prompted an increase in requests by women for self-defense lessons.
This program aired on December 11, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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