Hike sentence

Life sentence for Bridgewater body burning killer

PLYMOUTH — A New Hampshire man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in the 2015 kidnapping, murder and burning of a New Jersey woman in Bridgewater.

The Plymouth County Prosecutor’s Office said Julian Squires, 48, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was convicted by a jury earlier this month after a 10-day trial.

He was found guilty on June 2 of one count of murder and kidnapping in the November 2015 murder of Ashley Bortner, 29.

Plymouth Superior Court Judge Brian Davis handed down his sentence on Wednesday.

The prosecutor’s office said more than 70% of Bortner’s body was burned when police found her bound, gagged and still on fire next to the MBTA train tracks in Bridgewater.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz called the murder “particularly gruesome and cruel”.

Squires was also sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison for kidnapping, although the sentence runs concurrently with the life sentence.

The prosecutor’s office said alleged Squires co-conspirator Fernando Owens, 50, is awaiting trial.

Owens was arrested in the Dominican Republic after the murder.

Authorities believe he knew the victim and believed she played a role in the murder of his son in Suffolk County, the prosecutor’s office said.

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