A Springfield man has been indicted on 52 charges, including three counts of murder, officials say.
Hampden County DA Anthony Gulluni announced the indictment of 40-year-old Stewart Weldon Thursday afternoon, more than two months after his arrest.
In a news release, the DA said Weldon was indicted on charges including:
- Three counts of murder
- Eight counts of strangulation
- Nine counts of aggravated rape
- Two counts of rape
- Five counts of aggravated kidnapping
- Four counts of kidnapping
- Two counts of assault to rape
“I thank the Springfield Police Department’s Homicide Unit and my Office’s Murder Unit, specifically Assistant District Attorney Max Bennett,” Hampden DA stated in the news release. “They managed a very complicated crime scene and early investigation very effectively and collected and organized a tremendous amount of evidence, which was presented to the Grand Jury to secure these indictments. With these fifty-two indictments in hand, we will now begin a vigorous prosecution with an eye towards justice for the victims and their families.”
Weldon’s indictment is for crimes he committed over the years involving eleven different victims.
Police attempted to do a traffic stop on May 27 but went on to become a brief chase when Weldon refused to pull over. That was when officers discovered a woman in the vehicle who claimed she was being beaten and held against her will by Weldon.
On May 30, 22News first reported that Springfield officers and investigators were called to 1333 Page Boulevard, where they found the remains of three women in and around the home after a full search days later.
The women whose remains were found were identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as Ernestine Ryans, 47, of Springfield, America Lyden, 34, of Springfield, and Kayla Escalante, 27, of Ludlow.
Weldon was held on two $1 million bails while authorities investigated the kidnapping and triple murder.
A neighbor who has lived on Page Blvd. for 18-years told 22News Weldon moved like a shadow in the close-knit community.
That neighbor, Stefan Davis, said he saw Weldon that Sunday, before police pulled him over, frantically searching for something in the front lawn while it was raining heavily.
In Springfield Thursday, residents expressed a sense of relief that Weldon was being held fully accountable.
“It’s the type of stuff you don’t hear every day,” said Akheem Hibbert of Springfield. “You see it in movies, but when it actually happens, it’s real. He would have continued, would have been worse probably. Probably would have been more bodies. You got it at the right time.”
The Department of Children and Families had confirmed with 22News that a child was in their custody after being taken from 1333 Page Boulevard pending the investigation at the property.
Authorities have still not released how Ryans, Lyden, and Escalante died.
“It’s awful, that shouldn’t happen to anyone in Springfield or anyone in the world rather,” said Chris Harris. “Like people like that will try to get away with anything. It’s good that he got caught. Hopefully, he gets the justice he deserves, and more people come home if anything happened to them.”
If convicted of first-degree murder, Weldon faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
An arraignment date for Weldon has not been set.