Former Perkins student charged in teacher slaying — (The Boston Herald)

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The Boston Herald

By O’Ryan Johnson and Jessica Fargen   jfargen@bostonherald.com

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The woman stabbed to death yesterday in Brighton allegedly by a former Perkins School student was an art teacher at the famous school for the blind who taught children who could not see to paint and sculpt, the school and family members said.

Terri Werner, 56, was killed Tuesday in the apartment of 2002 Perkins graduate Luis Marquez, 26, a reputedly mentally ill man who has been charged with her murder.

“She loved working with the kids. They never ceased to amaze me, the work they could do. But it didn’t amaze her. She knew they could do it,” said the victim’s mother, Merilyn Werner of Edmunds, Wash. “You should have seen some of the work they did. It was gorgeous.”

Marquez’s twin brother, Jose Marquez, was at his brother’s arraignment yesterday in Brighton District Court, where Luis Marquez pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail. Jose Marquez said his brother had just started taking medication for bipolar disorder and depression.

“They should put him in a psychiatric hospital,” said Jose Marquez, 26. As he was led out of court, Jose Marquez yelled, “Love you, buddy.”

Jose Marquez said his brother started taking medication two months ago and he believes he was off that medication on Tuesday when Werner was found murdered inside his Nonantum Street apartment. He said such a violent act would be out of character for his brother.

Prosecutor Jennifer Hickman said a neighbor called 911 Tuesday at 2:31 p.m. to report that a man pacing outside said he had killed somebody. When police asked Luis Marquez what he was doing, he allegedly replied: “I killed somebody.”

Werner had trauma to her head and chest when police found her on the floor in Marquez’s apartment.

Jose Marquez, of Lowell, said his brother worked for the Perkins School for the Blind building braille machines. The school said Marquez was suspended following his arrest. The brothers were each born blind in one eye, but an accident at age 10 left Luis Marquez blind in both eyes.

Marquez was previously highlighted in a Boston Globe story about art projects at Perkins that singled out a mask he’d created in art class. Statements from Perkins yesterday expressed sadness at the killing but did not say whether Werner had been Marquez’s teacher.

Werner grew up in Washington state, the middle child in a family that loved hiking and all things outdoors. Werner’s mother said she loved animals growing up and ran a kennel and dog training facitity in Yakima before she moved to Boston for school. Werner said her daughter bought a farm with her partner in Middleboro about 10 years ago.

“She really loved it. They had two horses, two sheep, a dog and a cat,” Werner said. “Anything that came along it was theirs. She always loved animals and she liked to work hard. She worked hard all her life.”