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Peabody, MA — A Salem man admitted that he fatally stabbed his 38-year old co-worker in the back in the kitchen at PF Chang’s in Peabody on August 29, 2015.
Jaquan Huston, 25, pleaded guilty to second degree murder today in Salem Superior Court in the murder of Elivelton Dias, also of Salem. Judge Thomas Drechsler adopted the joint recommendation and sentenced him to life with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
“This was a senseless killing of an innocent man,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “Elivelton Dias was a hard-working man who had come to this country seeking opportunity and freedom from the violence of his native Brazil. That his life was taken by such a pointless act of violence weeks after he became a new father is beyond tragic.”
Had the case gone to trial, Essex Assistant District Attorneys Ashlee Logan and James Gubitose would have introduced evidence that would have proven that on the evening of August 29, 2015, Jaquan Huston plunged a sushi knife into Elivelton Dias’ back without provocation. He immediately fled the restaurant on his bicycle and was later arrested at his home in Salem. The cause of death was a single stab wound to the lung.
Mr. Dias’ wife Fabiana Batista stated in her impact statement that it was her husband’s dream to have a family. “Nothing will fix what [the defendant] has done,” said said.
ADA Logan told the court that Mr. Dias was highly regarded by his co-workers at PF Chang’s, as evidenced by their presence at many of the court hearings throughout the case, including today. “He was beloved by his co-workers and the devastation of his loss is still felt by many of them to this day,” Logan said.
ADA Logan commended the work of the Peabody Police Department, particularly Chief Tom Griffin and Officer Eric Ricci. Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Murphy assisted in the investigation. Essex Victim Advocate Dawn Gigante-Masterson provided support to the victim’s family and friends.
Huston will be eligible to apply for parole after serving 20 years in state prison. He will receive 787 days of credit for the time served since his arrest.