NH woman to serve nearly a decade in prison for her role in grisly 2015 Bridgewater murder, DA says

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — A New Hampshire woman was sentenced to prison time on Monday for her role in a 2015 murder where the victim was found burned near MBTA train tracks, according to authorities.

47-year-old Shannon Squires pleaded guilty to one count each of manslaughter and kidnapping in the murder of 29-year-old Ashley Bortner from New Jersey. Squires was sentenced to serve 8-10 years in state prison followed by 5 years probation under the order of Judge William Sullivan.

She has been incarcerated since November 2015.

The Plymouth County DA’s Office says on November 3, 2015, Bridgewater Police received a report of a fire burning alongside MBTA train tracks just before midnight. Arriving officers determined it was a human body on fire, later identified as Bortner.

According to investigators, Bortner’s body had been burned over 70 percent, she had been gagged by clothing, her face wrapped in a towel and her hands and feet bound behind her.

Three people, including Squires, faced charges for Bortner’s murder.

Fernando Owens, who had fled to the Dominican Republic immediately after the killing, was convicted of her murder in June 2023. He was sentenced to life in prison. Authorities say Owens believed Bortner had somehow played a role in the Suffolk County murder of his son.

48-year-old Julian Squires, a co-defendant in this case, was charged for his role in assisting Owens to kill and dispose of Bortner’s body, the DA’s office says. He is serving life in prison.

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