- Essex District Attorney’s Office
Media Contact for Salem Man Pleads Guilty to MV Homicide
Carrie Kimball, Director of Communications
Salem, MA — A Salem man pleaded guilty in Newburyport District Court today to charges related to a fatal motor vehicle crash that took the life of Salem Police Officer Dana Mazola.
Juan Marinez, 27, of Salem pleaded guilty to Motor Vehicle Homicide by Reckless Operation and was found responsible for Speeding and Marked Lanes Violation. Judge Alan Swan sentenced him to two and a half years in the House of Correction with one year to be served followed by six months of home confinement with a GPS, and 5 years of probation. He was ordered not to drive and his guilty plea resulted in a 15-year loss of license by statute.
Had the case gone to trial, Essex ADA Haleigh Reisman would have introduced evidence that would have proven that at approximately 11:07 pm on June 25, 2020, Salem Police responded to a motor vehicle crash near 317 Jefferson Ave. The defendant, who was driving a 2015 Ford Fusion southbound, crossed the double yellow line and hit a 2011 Toyota Corolla, travelling in the northbound lane and operated by the victim, head-on. Both operators were transported to North Shore Medical Center in Salem. Shortly after arriving, Dana Mazola, 56, was pronounced dead. The defendant sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
A subsequent investigation conducted by detectives assigned to the Essex District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section found that the defendant was travelling between 47 and 55 miles per hour in the moments before the crash. The speed limit on Jefferson Avenue is 25 miles per hour.
“The defendant failed to maintain control of his vehicle due to the high rate of speed and his recklessness ultimately resulted in the death of Dana Mazola,” ADA Reisman said in her sentencing argument. “The loss of his life – a 31-year veteran of the Salem Police Department, a beloved husband, father, uncle, brother-in-law – was avoidable.”
The defendant was represented by Attorney Mike Cerulli.