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Cornel Bell found guilty of murdering Michelle Clarke in Weymouth home in 2017

CBS Boston logo CBS Boston 7/4/2022 CBSBoston.com Staff

WEYMOUTH -- A 50-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his former girlfriend. Michelle Clarke was 33 when she was murdered in her Weymouth home five years ago. 

Cornel Bell was found guilty of murder in the first degree after he ambushed and stabbed Clarke 15 times, said a statement from the Norfolk District Attorney's office. 

Jury deliberations began on Wednesday and a verdict was reached Friday. 

"After stabbing her to death, Bell fled to Cape Cod and eventually Florida. It took months of coordinated investigation between Weymouth Police, Massachusetts State Police homicide detectives and Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, US Marshals, and Florida law enforcement to locate him," said District Attorney Micheal Morrissey. "He was finally confronted at a construction site in Florida and apprehended after a brief pursuit. He has been held without bail since that time."  

According to the D.A., the defense conceded that Bell killed Clarke, but argued there was no pre-meditation. 

Clarke had a six-year-old at the time of her death. The father of her child said he was on the phone with her when she was attacked. He said he hung up and called 911.

SafeLink is a statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline and a resource for anyone affected by domestic or dating violence. The number is 877-785-2020.

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