SaugusBank Robbers Convicted and Sentenced to Life
An Essex Superior Court jury yesterday returned guilty verdicts on nearly all counts convicting two men in connection with a bank robbery that ended with a shoot-out with police in Malden in which one of the suspects was killed.
Michael Ginnetti, 40, of Winthrop, was convicted of 2 counts of Armed & Masked Robbery, 4 counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Use of Body Armor in a Felony, and Carrying a Dangerous Weapon
Gabriel Megna, 49, of East Boston, was convicted of 2 counts of Armed & Masked Robbery, 4 counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, and Carrying a Dangerous Weapon.
Both men were found not guilty of Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle. Ginnetti pleaded guilty to a Firearm Violation with 3 Prior Violent or Drug Offense.
In her sentencing argument, Essex Assistant District Attorney Faitella reviewed the defendants’ extensive criminal records and argued that, “these men are the very definition of career criminals and there is no way to protect the public from these individuals but to incarcerate them for life.”
Judge David Lowy adopted the Commonwealth’s sentencing recommendation and sentenced them both life concurrent with 30 to 35 years in prison.
ADA Faitella, along with Essex ADA Kim Gillespie, proved that on March 23, 2012, Michael Ginnetti and William Ekasala entered the Saugus Cooperative Bank at 412 Lynn Fells Parkway in Saugus wearing masks and armed with loaded firearms. Several bank employees were ordered to the ground at gunpoint. The defendants demanded cash from two bank tellers who filled black nylon bags with money also at gunpoint. The defendants fled the bank with the money in a red Honda Civic driven by Gabriel Megna. The defendants led the Saugus Police on a high speed pursuit into Malden where they then entered the Cliffside Commons Apartment Complex at 500 Broadway. The defendants, Megna and Ekasala, then allegedly carjacked a female whose 5 month old infant was in the backseat. After being ordered out of the female’s car by Detective Michael Casaletto of the Malden Police Department, Gabriel Megna fled and William Ekasala attempted to carjack two other individuals and was fatally wounded after he exchanged gunfire with the police. Michael Ginnetti was located at the Granada Highlands, a nearby apartment complex. Detectives Sean Moynihan and Kevin Murphy located a loaded semiautomatic handgun and a black nylon bag filled with cash in his waistband. After a several hour search, Gabriel Megna was located hiding under a stairwell inside the Cliffside Apartments.
ADA Faitella and Gillespie commended the courage and poise demonstrated by the employees of the Saugus Cooperative Bank.
Additionally, they praised the work of Essex Victim Witness Advocate Ken Dixon and Alexandria Espinal of the District Attorney’s Office.
Thanks to the bravery of the law enforcement agents involved, no innocent bystanders were physically injured. Faitella and Gillespie lauded the work of the Saugus Police Department, the Malden Police Department, State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Bank Robbery Task Force.
Mr. Ginnetti was represented by Attorney Peter Marano and Mr. Megna was represented by Attorney Michael Phelan.