Press Release

Press Release Lawrence man convicted in fatal baseball bat attack

Martin Rodriguez had been accused of killing Jose Burgos in 2017
For immediate release:
  • Essex District Attorney’s Office

Media Contact for Lawrence man convicted in fatal baseball bat attack

Glen Johnson, Chief of Communications and External Affairs

LAWRENCEA Lawrence man was convicted of first-degree murder on Wednesday for beating his neighbor to death in 2017 with an aluminum baseball bat, Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker announced.

Martin Rodriguez, 67, was charged with the murder of 53-year-old Jose Burgos.

The two lived in a YMCA rooming house at the time of the attack.

A jury sitting in Lawrence Superior Court agreed to both theories presented by the prosecution: the murder was committed with premeditation, as well as extreme atrocity and cruelty.

“This was a brutal crime and I’m pleased the jury considered all of the evidence before delivering a just verdict,” Tucker said. “I’m also impressed with the professionalism and dedication of our team from top to bottom.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Michael Sheehan and Caitlin Shugrue.

They were assisted by Victim Witness Advocate Mikki Defeo; Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and members of the Essex County District Attorney’s Office State Police Detective Unit; detectives and patrol officers from the Lawrence Police Department; and former Lawrence Detective Kevin Schiavone.

The trial began March 8. Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman presided over the case. Rodriguez was represented by Attorney Michael Phelan of Salem.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 27.


Media Contact for Lawrence man convicted in fatal baseball bat attack

Essex District Attorney’s Office 

Essex District Attorney Paul F. Tucker is committed to holding criminals accountable, securing justice for victims of crime and providing services and drug treatment to non-violent offenders.

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