EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 11, 2012

Victim had recently come to US

Man said to be from St. Croix

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — A man fatally stabbed on Grove Street this weekend may have recently come to the city from the Virgin Islands but his reason for being here was not known, authorities say.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said investigators were informed that the victim, identified as Misael Lima, 24, was from the Virgin Islands. No other details about him were being released as of last night.

A second man, who police have not identified, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston early Sunday morning. His wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.

Lima was found about 1:25 a.m. Sunday outside 11 Grove St. He died at Merrimack Valley Hospital. Police yesterday said the stabbings took place in the street, but would not provide additional details.

It was the fifth violent death in Haverhill this year. Authorities did not say where Lima was living. No arrests have been made.

Lima, may be the same Misael Lima of St. Croix, identified in an Oct. 5 news story published online by the Virgin Islands Daily News.

Staff reporter Fiona Stokes noted that following a trial, a jury found Misael Lima, 24, of Williams Delight, St. Croix, not guilty of unlawfully possessing a firearm or being a felon in possession of a firearm following his trial on the charges. The story said Lima was arrested just before 8 p.m. Jan. 21, 2011 after police said they saw him throw a firearm over a fence during a foot chase with police officers in the housing community where he lived.

According to the Virgin Island Daily News report, during closing arguments in the case against Lima, Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Hinds told the jury that when police officers chased him, they saw him throw a handgun over a fence as he rounded a corner into a yard and behind some houses. She said he ran to his home, and when officers caught up with him, he was at his house pounding on the door, asking his mother to open up.

“For the safety of the officer and his own safety, he (the police officer) used non-lethal force to stop him from getting inside that house, where additional weapons may have been,” Hinds said. She said Lima was taken into custody, and while officers were discussing the firearm, Lima interjected and told them that he would rather be tased than shot because he had been shot before and that was the reason he was carrying the gun.

Edwards reminded jurors of witnesses who said that Lima did not run until he heard one of the police officers say, “Grab Lima.” Witnesses testified that Lima’s hands were swinging as he ran and were empty, she said.

Lima’s defense attorney Yvette Ross Edwards told the jury there was no evidence about any testing for latent fingerprints or any DNA.

Edwards asked jurors to use their common sense in asking why no testing was done, and use that same common sense to find Lima not guilty.

After the not guilty verdict, District Judge Wilma Lewis vacated all conditions of restraint against Lima, who had been released on bail.

While the stabbing occurred on Grove Street, both injured men were taken to Merrimack Valley Hospital by a third person. The third person was not identified by police.

The other city murders this year include two men killed July 23 during what police said was a drug-related home invasion of a River Street apartment.

William Melchionda, 19, of Haverhill, and Anddy Guzman, 20, of Lawrence, were shot to death during the home invasion of Melchionda’s ground-floor apartment at 629-635 River St. Two other were wounded in the shootings, police said.

Martha McDermott, 36, of 180 Drakeshire Road, Hampton, N.H., and her husband — Kristin Broderick, 37, of Houston, Texas — were found shot to death Jan. 11 in a vehicle in the parking lot at Winnekenni Castle in an apparent murder-suicide. Broderick was a former Haverhill resident with several relatives in the city.