Thursday, February 23, 2012

Easthampton, MA: DA: Murder was case of domestic violence

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The District Attorney's Office is calling the death of Jessica Ann Pripstein a "tragic case of domestic violence." But according to witnesses, she sensed before she died that her boyfriend was acting strange.

A witness told state police that on the night before Jessica was killed, she expressed some concern over the way her boyfriend was acting.

According to statistics from the Jane Doe Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, very few victims of domestic violence homicide ever seek help until it's tragically too late.

It is estimated that one in three women and one in ten men will experience sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence. “If you are having that gut feeling, even if you're just wondering, even if it's not really domestic violence as it turns out, it's better to call,” said Marianne Winters, Executive Director of Safe Passage, Inc.

Under arrest for Pripstein's murder is her boyfriend, 36 year old Ryan Welch. From his hospital room he pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon.

He is being held without bail until his court appearance on March 16. Investigators told 22News that upon entering Jessica's apartment at 27 Ward Avenue, they found three-edged weapons and discovered some of the doors had been barricaded with furniture.

We are also learning new information about Jessica's last moments alive. Her last words to a 911 dispatcher were, "Oh my God...please." Following the call, police arrived at Pripstein's apartment to discover her lifeless body.

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