For Immediate Release - June 18, 2010

Tampa Man Guilty Of First Degree Murder

A Salem Superior Court jury this afternoon found Jose Collazo, 23, of Tampa, FL, guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of Jose Fuentes, 27, of Haverhill. The jury deliberated for about 7 ½ hours over two days before returning its verdict.

Judge David Lowy will sentence Collazo on Monday, June 28. He faces the mandatory term of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Gerald P. Shea proved that shortly before 9 a.m. on the morning of February 21, 2009, Collazo entered the home of his former girlfriend at 16 Union Street in Haverhill, and shot Fuentes multiple times in the bedroom of the basement apartment.

Collazo was angry that the woman, who is the mother of his two children, was involved in a relationship with Fuentes. The former girlfriend and the children, who lived together in the apartment, were not harmed.

After the shooting Collazo fled the area, but surrendered to authorities on March 4, 2009, in Queens, NY. He has been in custody since his arrest.

In addition to the murder charge, Collazo was found guilty of carrying a firearm without a license. He was acquitted of home invasion.

Collazo's friend, Adenawer Gonzalez, Jr., 23, also of Tampa, was arrested in Queens, NY, the day before Collazo surrendered. He is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in state prison. He remains in custody, and is scheduled to appear in Salem Superior Court on July 16 for a motion to suppress evidence.

Prosecutor Shea praised the investigative work of Haverhill Police detectives and State Police detectives assigned to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

Collazo was represented by Attorney Jeffrey Karp.