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October 16, 2012

Jailhouse confession?: Inmate testifies that Saint Clair told him about La Guira double murder

LAWRENCE — A fellow inmate said drug dealer Johan Saint Clair told him he shot two people to death at the La Guira nightclub as revenge for a large cocaine ripoff by home-invading or torturing thieves known as “joloperos.”

“I talked to him about my case. He talked to me about his case ... He told me how he did the shooting, more or less,” said Luis Alberto Gonzalez, 28, who is now in federal custody on a heroin-trafficking charge.

In 2011, Gonzalez was in Middleton Jail for two months with Saint Clair, 32, before being transferred to a federal prison. Saint Clair was held without bail at Middleton following his arrest after the Sept. 6, 2010 double murder.

At the request of prosecutor James Gubitose, Gonzalez demonstrated for jurors how Saint Clair allegedly motioned with his right hand and fingers, re-enacting how he fatally fired a semi-automatic handgun into the packed nightclub at midnight that night.

Gonzalez said Saint Clair told him he was exacting revenge against Juan Esteban Suazo-Soto — a ‘jolopero’ who previously robbed him. Suazo-Soto and Amarilis Roldan, a mother of two young children, were both killed.

Gonzalez was promised leniency in his federal sentence if he truthfully testifies at Saint Clair’s trial.

Saint Clair, of Lawrence, is accused of the first degree murder of Roldan, 24, of Dorchester, and Suazo-Soto, 34, of Hyde Park. Gubitose has described the killings as premeditated and deliberate.

Also, Saint Clair is charged with wounding Valerie Verdejo and Jose Luis Medrano Baez and illegally carrying the semi-automatic handgun.

Wearing beige prison scrubs and white laceless sneakers, Gonzalez in his testimony backed up the prosecution’s assertion that Saint Clair sprayed the club with bullets as retribution for an earlier cocaine robbery. “He said they took a kilo from him. They tied up the girl and took the kilo,” Gonzalez said.

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