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January 3, 2013

Parole denied to killer in 1997 murder

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Parole Board has denied parole to Vinny Nunez, who pled guilty to the second degree murder of Jason Cox in Lawrence on June 9, 1997.

Cox was a 20-year old veterinarian's technician and a graduate of the Essex Agricultural Institute. The decision released by the board on December 17.

"I applaud the decision of the Parole Board to continue Mr. Nunez's incarceration," District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement today. T"He took the life of a young man and displayed a reckless disregard for the children and others who were on the street at the time of the shooting."

On June 9, 1997, Nunez and his group of friends were engaged in an escalating disagreement with another group of men. Nunez drove his group to Springfield Street to confront the victim and his companions. While Nunez was parking his car, the two groups began to fight. Nunez approached the fighting men and shot Mr. Cox in the back, killing him. When the shots were fired at 7:15 p.m., children and others were outside enjoying the early summer evening.

In opposing parole, Essex Assistant District Attorney Paul C. Wagoner stated that Nunez's "current account of the murder lacks credibility, appears crafted to minimize his culpability, and disregards the community he traumatized with his reckless act." In addition, Wagoner asserted that his post-parole plan was vague and that he "essentially wasted the first decade of his incarceration by avoiding any meaningful programming to ensure successful reintegration into society."

The Parole Board ruled that Mr. Nunez will not be eligible for parole for another four years.

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