A Dorchester man was found guilty of the role he played in the killing of a 29-year-old New Jersey woman whose dead body was found burnt alongside MBTA tracks in 2015.
After a seven-day trial, a jury found Fernando Owens, 51, of Dorchester guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office stated Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors claim Owens conspired alongside New Hampshire couple, Julian and Shannon Squires, to kidnap and kill 29-year-old New Jersey woman Ashley Bortner.
Owens and the Squires couple believed that Bortner played a role in the death of Owens’ son and sought revenge, according to Plymouth County prosecutors.
- Read more: Julian Squires of New Hampshire sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty in 2015 killing of woman found burning near Bridgewater train tracks
Bortner was also previously acquainted with Owens and the Squires couple, officials added.
A day following the discovery of Dominic Owens’ body, a person reported a fire burning beside MBTA commuter rail tracks in Bridgewater.
Police found a human body on fire, officials stated.
The body — later identified as Bortner — was over 70% burned. Her face was wrapped in a towel and her hands and feet were tied behind her, officials stated.
A follow-up investigation led authorities to recover an electrical cord and cotton towel from Fernando Owens’ home, investigators said the items linked him to the murder.
Owens fled to the Dominican Republic shortly after Bortner’s death. He was captured by local authorities and extradited to the United States to face trial for the killing of Bortner.
He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Friday morning, according to officials.
In June 2022, Julian Squires was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of the role he played in Bortner’s death. Shannon Squires still awaits her trial and is set to appear in court on July 20.