For Immediate Release - January 19, 2017

Haverhill Couple Pleads Guilty to Assisting Deadly Home Invasion

A Haverhill couple were sentenced to state prison for their role in a 2012 deadly home invasion at a multi-family home on River Street in Haverhill.

Angela Walsh, 25, and Joshua Cloutman, 24, both pleaded guilty to Armed Robbery and Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime to Commit a Felony today in Salem Superior Court.  Judge Timothy Feeley accepted the joint recommendation of 7 to 9 years in state prison for Walsh and 5 to 6 years in state prison for Cloutman. 

In consideration for their guilty pleas, the Commonwealth dismissed two counts of murder and one count of home invasion.

Had the case gone to trial, Essex Assistant District Attorney Jean Curran would have introduced evidence that would have proven that on July 23, 2012, Juan Carlos Sanchez broke into the first-floor apartment of William Melchionda on River Street in Haverhill, while armed and masked.  Four people were shot and Melchionda and Sanchez’s co-conspirator, Anddy Guzman, were killed.  During the course of the investigation, police discovered that Walsh and Cloutman, who lived upstairs from Melchionda, had communicated with Sanchez about stealing marijuana from the apartment.

“The defendants played an integral role in planning and assisting to execute a plan to steal drugs from their downstairs neighbor,” ADA Curran said.  “The information they provided to Mr. Sanchez facilitated the home invasion which resulted in the death of two people.”

Juan Carlos Sanchez, 26, of Haverhill, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, home invasion, armed robbery, 2 counts of armed assault with intent to murder on December 15, 2016.  He was sentenced to 23 - 27 years in state prison.

ADA Curran praised the work of Massachusetts State Police Trooper Pete Sherber, Haverhill Police Detective Joe Benedetti and the entire Haverhill Police Department for their tireless work on this investigation.

ADA Curran was assisted by Essex ADA Ashlee Logan and Essex Victim Advocate Cristina Garcia.

Ms. Walsh was represented by Attorney Larry Maguire and Mr. Cloutman was represented by Attorney John Morris.

-30-