Chaos In The Courtroom

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 1:18pm

Victim's family members attack accused murderer.

A courtroom scuffle broke out Monday during the arraignment of a murder suspect in Rhode Island's Kent County District Court.

Family members were unable to restrain themselves against the man charged with murdering 38-year-old Shirley Donnelly of Cranston.

Authorities say her 34-year-old boyfriend, Matthew Komrowski, killed her Thursday and covered it up with a fire.

Raymond Donnelly, identified as the victim's ex-husband, jumped the bench but was subdued by court officers, as was the victim's 18-year-old son.

It's how Komrowski responded in court to a question about if he would be able to afford a lawyer that may have ignited the victim's family.

"Yeah, I think her family is going to help me," Komrowski told the judge.

The attorney general's office said the victim's ex-husband and son won't face charges for the outburst.

Komrowski did not enter a plea to charges of domestic kidnapping and murder.

He was ordered held without bail.

Komrowski was released from the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute on Wednesday, one day before Shirley Donnelly's killing.

He has a record that includes robbery, domestic assault and arson.

Domestic violence advocates called the case tragic.

"People can't be kept in prison forever, and when they do get out, there still are dangers to victims of domestic violence," Deborah DeBare, of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Authorities have not said how they believe Donnelly was killed.

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