A Suffolk Superior Court jury yesterday convicted Phillip Carrington, 51, of second-degree murder for the strangulation death of his former girlfriend in her 34 Heath St. apartment in 2013, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
The verdict means a mandatory life sentence, but with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Six months ago, another jury had deadlocked in his first trial.
The DA's office provided this account:
On May 11, 2013, Walker and Carrington went to a family member's home to play cards. They left several hours later in the early morning of May 12 and were given a ride back to Walker's home, which the victim and defendant entered together. It was Mother's Day, the last time Celestine Walker was seen alive.
Friends and relatives attempted to reach Walker later on May 12 but received no response. On May 13, a maintenance man observed Carrington leaving the residence. The witness took note of this because he had known Carrington for years and Carrington usually greeted him when they saw each other. This time, however, Carrington remained silent.
On May 16, Walker's neighbors reported a strong odor in the building. Workers observed a number of flies outside her apartment. When workers opened the door with a key, they found her body in a state of decomposition. It was partially covered with a sheet. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that she had been beaten and strangled.
Several of Walker's family members confronted Carrington after learning of her death. He initially denied any knowledge of her death but later told them that it had been an accident.