Accused murderer pleads not guilty, held without bail

Staff Writer
Published: 7/6/2020 3:38:06 PM

GREENFIELD — Elijah Michonski was arraigned in Greenfield District Court Monday afternoon on charges of murder and other crimes related to a violent incident in Montague on Friday night.

Michonski, 18, of Montague, allegedly forced entry into the Montague home of Teresa Weir, 39, and Nicholas Weir, 41 — his aunt and uncle — and attacked both with a knife, then stole their car to escape. He was arrested shortly after by police officers from Montague, Gill and Erving.

Nicholas and Teresa Weir were immediately hospitalized Friday night. Nicholas Weir died Sunday morning as a result of his injuries, the most severe of which was a wound from a large kitchen knife to the head, as described in the Montague Police Department’s report.

Teresa Weir remains hospitalized, with stab and slash wounds to her arm, neck and head. Her injuries are now considered non-life-threatening, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Michonski pleaded not guilty on all nine charges: one count murder, two counts assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, two counts assault to murder while being armed, two counts home invasion, one count breaking and entering in daytime with intent to commit a felony putting a person in fear and one count larceny of a motor vehicle.

The arraignment was conducted via a telephone conference Monday afternoon. (Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts courts are conducting business remotely until at least July 12.)

Judge Laurie McLeod ordered Michonski to be held without bail. Michonski’s lawyer, Jennifer Cox, did not challenge this point. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office declined to release a photo of Michonski, noting that doing so could potentially influence the case.

The report by the Montague Police Department, based largely on interviews with Michonski and Teresa Weir, describes Michonski forcing entry through a locked door and subsequently fighting with Nicholas Weir over a knife; although the two accounts cited in the report conflict in other areas, including whether Michonski attacked Teresa Weir.

According to the police report, Michonski said he originally went to the victims’ Randall Road apartment to retrieve an electric scooter he had left there, and that Teresa Weir met him outside and told him to leave. Michonski said he forced entry into the home after she went inside and locked the door.

Michonski claimed that Nicholas Weir was then holding a knife toward him and telling him to leave, according to the police report. Rather than leave, he tackled Nicholas Weir, gained control of the knife and ultimately stabbed him in the head.

Teresa Weir, however, allegedly told police that she was already inside when she was alerted to Michonski’s presence, when he knocked on the door. According to the police report, she said he then broke through the door, took a knife from a butcher’s block and began swinging it at her. Teresa Weir kicked him to defend herself.

Nicholas Weir then came in from another room and became engaged with Michonski, who stabbed him in the side and back, Teresa Weir told police.

Teresa Weir moved to another room and shut the door to call 911, according to the police report. Michonski allegedly forced open the door, knocked her to the ground and stabbed her in the head multiple times, until she “faked dead” so he would leave.

Michonski, however, claimed he never attacked Teresa Weir. He speculated to police that she had inflicted her own wounds.

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-930-4231.


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