, Gloucester, MA

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October 4, 2011

Maimoni still claims murder was 'accident'

SALEM — Thomas Maimoni, the Salem man convicted of killing artist Martha Brailsford on board his sailboat off Gloucester in 1991 continued to insist yesterday that her death was simply an accident, a claim that left Parole Board members stunned.

"I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone of parole hearings," board member Cesar Archilla told Maimoni, 61. "It's lie after lie after lie. Every statement's a lie."

Referring to Maimoni's claim that he suffers from an "incredulity disorder," Archilla, a former Essex County prosecutor, commented, 'I'm incredulous. I can't believe what I'm hearing ... It's like you live in an alternative reality."

And in that reality, the only way Maimoni can receive treatment for what he claimed was post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the death of Brailsford is by being released from state prison so that he can be admitted to a Veterans Administration hospital in Rhode Island for treatment.

This is Maimoni's second attempt at parole; his first try, in 2006, was unanimously rejected.

Maimoni told the family and friends of Brailsford in the audience that he "takes full responsibility for my decision to place her in harm's way" and admitted that dumping her weighted, naked body overboard was "inhumane and unconscionable."

'Swept away'

But that's all he was apologizing for yesterday, continuing to maintain that Brailsford, 37, "was swept from the deck of my boat twice, once by the forces of Mother Nature and the second time a few hours later by my own hand."

Brailsford's father-in-law, Paul Brailsford, a seaman for 17 years, called Maimoni's account "a put-up job." He described how difficult it would be for anyone to pull an unconscious person from the water while also maintaining control of the boat.

Parole Board Chairman Josh Wall, also a former prosecutor, grilled Maimoni on whether he actually understood why he was rejected for parole at his first try in 2006.

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