EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

May 1, 2013

Lawrence man found not guilty of minivan murder

LAWRENCE - The first of five men charged with the "minivan murder" of Robert Gonzalez in 2009 was acquitted this afternoon.

A jury found Thomas Castro, 30, of Lawrence, not guilty of first degree murder, which carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The verdict was announced at 2:40 p.m. in Lawrence Superior Court.

Castro was charged with killing Gonzalez in a joint venture with others on Jan. 10, 2009.

Prosecutor Jean Curran said Gonzalez was killed after a group gathered at a Broadway restaurant earlier that day, an argument erupted and another man, Joel Javier, 27, lost a tooth. Gonzalez's murder is believed to be revenge exacted over the loss of tooth, Curran said.

Police said Gonzalez was initially driving a minivan found at 486 Haverhill St. that evening. But he dove into the passenger seat, trying to avoid two gunmen who opened fire on the vehicle. Gonzalez was unable to shield himself from the fatal spray of bullets and was later pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital.

Check back to eagletribune.com for more on this story.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'
Photos of the Week