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Suspect Who Allegedly Tried To Murder Wife Is Arraigned In Hospital

Jan 24, 2018 04:41PM ● By Bill Gilman

Dracut Police Headquarters

Al Fresca

 A 59-year-old Dracut man, accused of attempting to stab his wife to death in their Sesame Street home, was arraigned Wednesday morning in his room at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington.

James O'Neil was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic assault and battery, according to information provided by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Dracut Chief of Police Peter Bartlett.

The attack, which took place early on the morning of Jan. 16, rocked the quiet little neighborhood, where James and Brenda O'Neil had lived for close to a quarter-century.

Shortly after midnight, Dracut Police responded to a 911 call at a residence on Sesame Street. Upon arrival police located a woman in her 50s suffering from multiple life-threatening stab wounds.

Simultaneously, police received a call of a serious motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Methuen Street and Parker Road. The driver of the car that crashed was James O'Neil, and investigators believe he had just fled the Sesame Street residence after attacking his wife and had intentionally crashed his car into a tree in a suicide attempt.

O’Neil was transported to Lahey Hospital where he underwent surgery.

The victim remains hospitalized in Boston in stable condition. Ryan and Bartlett have not released the name of the victim, citing privacy policy. However, multiple media outlets have identified her as O'Neil's wife, Brenda O'Neil. 

Following the arraignment, Judge Ellen Caulo ordered James  O'Neil held without bail pending a 58A dangerousness hearing. The case is next scheduled for a status hearing on Jan. 26.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Kontz. The Victim Witness Advocate is Dora Quiroz.

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