The suspect in a triple homicide paced around the room while the prosecutor detailed the night he allegedly killed a Massachusetts family.
Christopher Ferguson, 41, appeared via Zoom in Newton District Court for the first time since his arrest Tuesday morning in connection with the deaths of Gilda “Jill” and Bruno D’Amore, ages 73 and 74, and Jill’s 97-year-old mother, Lucia Arpino, who were stabbed and beaten.
Ferguson pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and burglary. He was ordered held without bail. More charges are expected to be added after the autopsies of Bruno and Arpino are completed, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.
Wearing a white T-shirt and blue shorts, Ferguson circled the jail room throughout the five-minute court appearance. At times, he stood against the far wall, other times he looked straight into the window. For several seconds at a time, his large frame disappeared in and out of the camera’s view.
Sometime overnight Saturday into Sunday, Ferguson allegedly broke into Jill and Bruno’s Newton, Massachusetts, home through a window in the basement and brutally killed all three of them in what authorities say appears to be a botched, random home invasion.
Ferguson, a Newton resident, worked for Framingham Public Schools as a campus aide from Feb. 4, 2021, to March 7, 2023, “at which time he chose to resign,” according to the school district, which declined to answer follow-up questions.
“We cannot comment further on personnel matters,” a spokesperson said in an email to Fox News Digital.
More recently, he worked at Whole Foods in Newtonville, according to his Facebook page. Security for the store declined to comment, and the company’s media team didn’t respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
At 5:20 a.m. Sunday, Ferguson, who was known to police, was seen on surveillance footage “walking with a staggering gait” in the area with no shoes and no shirt, Ryan said during a Monday night press conference.
It’s unclear if that video captured the moments before or after the alleged murders, but it was about 100 yards from his home and about four-tenths of a mile from the crime scene, she said.
Ferguson does not have any known connections to the victims and appears to have forced his way into the home through a window in the basement, according to the district attorney.
He left behind bloody footprints that tied him to the crime scene, Ryan said.
The randomness of the attack in an otherwise peaceful, close and well-to-do community “shocked” the neighborhood, said Jim Sbordone, a former Newton firefighter and a friend of the D’Amore family, and put the city into a state of paranoia.
Authorities said the city can exhale now that Ferguson is in custody.
“It’s always important to be vigilant … but I would say we’re certainly much safer tonight than we were last night,” Ryan said.
Jill and Bruno were killed a day – maybe even hours – before they were scheduled to renew their wedding vows for their 50th anniversary at the Sacred Heart and Our Lady’s Collaborative church in Newton, where they were active parishioners and never missed 10 a.m. Sunday Mass.
The parish’s pastor, the Rev. Dan Riley, told Fox News Digital on Monday that they were “salt of the Earth, the greatest people you’d ever meet. … They’re going to be horribly missed.”
A short “Mass of Peace” followed by a prayer through song for the family is scheduled for today at 6:30 p.m.