For Immediate Release - June 22, 2017

Murder Verdict in 2014 Lawrence Shooting

A man who shot and killed a father of four in August 2014 was convicted of murder today in Lawrence Superior Court following a week-long trial.

Joshua Chevez, 25, of Lawrence, was convicted of second degree murder for shooting Mark Trussell at a gathering of people at the Stadium Housing Project on August 17, 2014.  His co-defendant, Juan Castillo, 21, was found not guilty of murder but was convicted for witness intimidation.  A third co-defendant, Jeremiah Torres, will be tried later this year.

 “Mr. Trussell was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “I commend the prosecution and investigative teams for securing this verdict despite the lack of cooperation of many of the eyewitnesses to this crime. Nevertheless, I am gratified that we were able to obtain a small measure of justice for Mr. Trussell’s loved ones.”  

Essex First Assistant District Attorney John Dawley and Essex Assistant District Attorney Kelleen Forlizzi introduced evidence that proved that in the early morning hours of August 17, 2014, Mr. Chevez went looking for a man he believed had shot his friend intending to kill him.  He shot into a crowd at a party at the Stadium Housing Project and struck Mark Trussell in the back of the head.  Trussell was air-lifted to a Boston hospital and died a few days later.  

Mr. Castillo was convicted of threatening to kill one of the witnesses if he testified at the Grand Jury investigating the murder.  Many of the witnesses were reluctant to testify throughout the trial.  One witness, Mark Pimentel, was arrested last weekend and charged with perjury, after he testified that he had lied to the Grand Jury.

ADAs Dawley and Forlizzi thanked Massachusetts State Police Detective Josh Ulrich and Lawrence Police Officers Barry Desjardins and Jay Heggarty for their work on the investigation.   They also thanked Essex Victim Witness Advocate Dawn Gigante-Masterson for her assistance with the case.

Judge Joshua Wall will impose sentences on July 18th.  Mr. Chevez was represented by Attorney Joseph Collins.  Mr. Castillo was represented by Attorney Randall Power.

 

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