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Mass. youth charged in baseball bat killing of girl

HAVERHILL, Mass. -- A Massachusetts teenager whose apparently obsessive romantic attention was spurned by a cheerleader was arraigned Friday on charges of beating the girl to death with a baseball bat.

Richard Baldwin, 16, of Peabody is accused of murdering Beth Brodie, 15, of Groveland. Baldwin, who was hospitaized under police guard Thursday after an apparent suicide attempt, was arraigned in Haverhill District Court and ordered held by the Department of Youth Services.

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Prosecutors said they planned to file a motion later in the day to have Baldwin tried as an adult.

'This is another tragic reminder that we have a problem with violence in society, and it is everywhere,' said Essex County District Attorney Kevin Burke, whose office recently won a conviction against another teenager charged with killing his girlfriend.

'It appears to be a case of one person's obsession with another,' Burke said, describing the relationship between Baldwin and Brodie. 'I do not believe that obsession was shared by the victim.'

Burke noted similarities between this incident and the 1991 case in which Amy Carnevale, 14, of Beverly, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend, Jamie Fuller, then 16. Fuller was tried as an adult this year, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

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Burke said both cases underscore the need to deal with the violent ways some teens respond to other teens.

Friends of Brodie, a Pentucket Regional High School cheerleader, said she and Baldwin had dated a few times this summer.

They said the two met Wednesday near Brodie's home where she told him she no longer wanted to date him. The friends said that Baldwin then chased Brodie into a friend's home where he allegedly struck her several times with a baseball bat.

Baldwin, who recently moved to Peabody from Groveland, then at some point allegedly downed a handful of a prescription drug, Zanax, in an abortive suicide attempt but was taken into custody by police and brought to Hale Hospital for treatment.

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