EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

November 27, 2013

Police paid shooting victim to testify

According to grand jury testimony David Rivera never testified about street killing

(Continued)

Rivera, who was listed as a Lawrence resident on witness lists in Cruz’s trial, was a reluctant witness. According to his grand jury testimony in November 2007, weeks after the shooting, Rivera said that he was compelled to testify to the grand jury.

Several days into Cruz’s trial in October 2009, Rivera’s attorney, Michael Seddon, gave a hand-written note to Ranta, saying Rivera, who was in jail at that time, did not want to testify and that “the police paid him $1,000 to testify. This was prior to his testimony at the grand jury.”

But Rivera also was a key witness, one of only a few who saw the actual shooting, according to grand jury testimony. Two of Rivera’s brothers, Alejandro and Jamie, and several close friends were in a yard off the street when the shooting occurred and ran to the street only after the shots were fired, according to the grand jury testimony of several of Rivera’s friends and siblings.

David Rivera was sitting in a car on Farnham Street in the evening of Oct. 30, 2007, when a shot rang out, according to his grand jury testimony. He turned, looked out the back of the car, and saw two people standing on the corner of Farnham and Phillips. One person pointed a gun at the other before firing another two or three shots.

He did not say to the grand jury that he recognized either person while the shooting was taking place, but testified that he made a U-turn in the car, drove to the corner, and found Cruz there bragging about shooting Bautista.

“He was one of only two or three who identified my client as being the shooter, so it was a pretty significant witness for the Commonwealth,” said Ranta, who also said he believed the prosecutor in the case, Jessica Connors, did not know about the payment before the trial.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Photos of the Week