For Immediate Release - June 23, 2016

Man Sentenced to Life for Murdering His Boyfriend

A 51-year-old Lawrence man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of stabbing his boyfriend to death on February 15, 2015.

Judge Richard Welch imposed the mandatory sentence for first degree murder today in Lawrence Superior Court after the victim’s niece and sister-in-law gave emotional victim impact statements.

Essex Assistant District Attorney A.J. Camelio introduced evidence during the 3-day trial that proved that the defendant, Miguel Rivera, stabbed his boyfriend, Omar Mendez, 39, because he did not want the relationship to end.  Witnesses testified that the two men had broken up several weeks prior to the murder but were still living together in their Haverhill Street apartment in Lawrence.  An argument started after Mendez received a telephone call that Rivera believed to be from another man.  As the two men argued, Mendez began packing a bag to leave.  Rivera  stabbed Mendez 13 times and then tried to take his own life.

“Mr. Mendez was, by all accounts, a loving and generous man who did not deserve such a brutal end to his life,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “This defendant not only selfishly took a life, but also forever harmed those who loved Mr. Mendez.”

ADA Camelio was assisted by Essex ADA Kelleen Forlizzi, Essex Victim Advocates Jocelyn Picardo and Ana Pena.  Massachusetts State Police Detective Peter Sherber, Lawrence Police Detectives Bill Colantouni and Tom Burke and Sgt. Emil DeFusco conducted the investigation.

Mr. Rivera was represented by Attorney John Morris.

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