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March 13, 2014

Prosecutors: Many witnessed murder

LAWRENCE – On the afternoon of Nov. 29, 2011, Antonio Frazier and Scott Brown allegedly came to Lawrence for “one purpose, one job.”

“The brutal execution of Gustavo Perez,” said Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall.

After Perez, 39, stepped outside the Italian-American club on Essex Street to get some air at 4:30 p.m., he was shot and killed, and numerous witnesses had “a front row seat to the horror that was about to unfold in front of them,” MacDougall said.

The first degree murder trial for Frazier, 26, of Mattapan, and Brown, 26, of Brockton, started yesterday morning in Lawrence Superior Court before Judge Douglas Wilkins. Frazier was allegedly the shooter and Brown was with him.

Both men are charged with the murder of Perez, a father of three and well known figure at the Italian-American Club at 93 Essex St. Authorities previously said Perez had “a gun emptied into him.”

In her opening statement yesterday morning, MacDougall said there were numerous witnesses, including Lawrence police officer Joseph Padellaro who was driving to work in his personal car when he heard gunshots, “saw a man dying on the pavement” and gave chase to Frazier and Brown who ran from the area.

Another witness was a woman with her children in her car, who became hysterical after seeing the violence, she said.

When questioned by police, Frazier and Brown said they were in the area to visit a recording studio and had stopped on Essex Street to get a drink. Frazier told officers he was dropped off in the area “by someone named John,” MacDougall said.

But right out of the gate, MacDougall told jurors there would be “no ‘Aha!’ forensic moments in this case.” Fingerprints and DNA were not found on an empty revolver found not far from the scene. Bullets removed from Perez’s brain and torso during an autopsy were “consistent” with the revolver recovered, she noted.

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