For Immediate Release - September 21, 2012

Lawrence Man Convicted of 1992 Murder is Denied Parole

The Massachusetts Parole Board, in a decision dated September 17, 2012, denied release to second degree murderer Roberto Gomez, 44, of Lawrence.  Gomez beat Walter Lake, 40, a homeless man, with a pipe on April 13, 1992.  Lake died of his injuries the following day.  

Gomez pleaded guilty to second degree murder on March 25, 1993, in Lawrence Superior Court, before Judge Margot Botsford.

At the time of Gomez’ sentencing, Essex Assistant District Attorney Gerald P. Shea told the court that Lake was a homeless man who lived under the Central Bridge in Lawrence with a number of other people.  About a week before the murder there had been an incident where the victim and others had thrown Gomez into the river.

On the day of the beating, Gomez was in an apartment with some friends when he took a 49 inch, heavy copper pipe and a knife, and went looking for Lake. Police arrived at the bridge at 10:30 p.m. after receiving some anonymous phone calls, and found the victim bleeding and unconscious.  Gomez was arrested at the scene.

Lake died of his injuries shortly before noon on April 14, and an autopsy revealed that he suffered blunt trauma to the head, arms, legs and neck. 

Arguing against parole at the June 5, 2012 hearing, Essex Assistant District Attorney Elin H. Graydon, Chief of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s Appeals Division, told the Board, “There is no significant evidence that the defendant accepts the facts to which he pled guilty.  He continues to blame the victim and minimize his own culpability.  He has taken steps to address his alcohol abuse, but cannot be thought to be an appropriate candidate for parole until he is willing to admit what the evidence showed: that he acted out of anger, armed himself, and beat an unarmed man to death.  Parole should be denied.”

Gomez will not be parole eligible for another four years.

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