EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

June 6, 2013

Jury convicts Lawrence man of first-degree murder

LAWRENCE — Alberto Vazquez was convicted yesterday of the first-degree murder of 24-year-old Julian Melendez, who was shot in the neck nearly three years ago.

The penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole. Vazquez, 29, formerly of 189 Arlington St., will be formally sentenced in Lawrence Superior Court this morning.

On Friday, June 18, Melendez was found shot in the neck and bleeding in front of 391 Lowell St. around 2 a.m.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital tried to save Melendez by performing surgery to remove the bullet in his neck. But Melendez was left brain dead and was eventually removed from life support.

Five months after Melendez died, Vazquez was charged with his murder. No other suspect was previously identified.

The first-degree murder trial started in Lawrence Superior Court on May 28.

Melendez was the second oldest of eight children and was the father of two young boys. A 2004 graduate of Greater Lawrence Technical School, Melendez had worked in an auto detail shop and at a McDonald’s, family members said.

A woman who was with Melendez before he was shot told police he was a crack cocaine dealer. She said before he was shot, the two were driving on Margin Street when their car was cut off by a white car. A man got out of the car and tried to attack Melendez, but they were able to get away, she told police.

She also said Melendez met with “other gangbangers” before he walked toward Lowell Street and was shot that morning.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Photos of the Week