Man Convicted for Killing, Burning Woman in Bridgewater
BRIDGEWATER — A New Hampshire man has been found guilty of kidnapping, killing, and burning a New Jersey woman in Bridgewater in 2015, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office.
Julian Squires, 48, of Manchester, NH was convicted by a jury after a 10-day trial of one count each of murder and kidnapping in the death of 29-year-old New Jersey resident Ashley Bortner in November 2015.
The D.A.'s office said more than 70% of Bortner's body was burned when police found her bound, gagged, and still on fire beside MBTA train tracks in Bridgewater on Nov. 3, 2015.
Bridgewater police had received a 911 call reporting a fire beside the tracks just before midnight, and responded to discover a human body on fire.
The body was later identified as Bortner's. The office said over 70% of her body was burned, and she had been gagged with clothing and her face wrapped with a towel.
Bortner's hands and feet were also bound behind her, according to the D.A.'s office.
A state police investigation found Squires and co-defendant 50-year-old Fernando Owens to be the main suspects in Bortner's kidnapping and murder.
Owens allegedly knew the victim, and allegedly believed she had played a part in his son's murder in Suffolk County.
He was captured by authorities in the Dominican Republic, where he fled after the murder, and is currently awaiting trial on aggravated kidnapping and murder charges.
Squires was in Bridgewater around the time of the 911 call and assisted in Bortner's killing and disposing of her body.
Sentencing is set for June 8.