Remy Salazar gets life in prison

TIM JEAN/Staff file photo

Remy Salazar stands before a judge during his 2019 arraignment in Lawrence District Court for the murder of Kelvin Frias in Methuen.

LAWRENCE — A Lawrence man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after he was convicted of murdering a Methuen man in 2019.

Remy Salazar, 27, was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Kelvin Frias, 30, who served in the U.S. Marines.

Following a six-day trial, a jury in Lawrence Superior Court handed down guilty verdicts to Salazar for murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and discharging of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, authorities said.

Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall introduced evidence that proved that Salazar shot Frias on March 15, 2019, while he stood outside the Hookah Store on Broadway in Methuen, authorities said.

Salazar, who attended an after-hours party at the Hookah Store, became angry with the owner for requesting payment for the alcohol served.

Frias, who was a friend and bodyguard of the storeowner, tried to diffuse the situation and asked Salazar to leave, according to authorities.

Salazar left and returned about 30 minutes later, shouted at the storeowner and fired six rounds toward a group of people that included the owner and the victim. A bullet struck Frias in the head. He died the next morning at a Boston hospital, according to information provided by District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office.

Judge Sal Tabit on Wednesday morning imposed the sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, which MacDougall requested.

MacDougall said Frias “was a gentle giant only trying to play peacemaker that evening.”

Frias’ family members also addressed Tabit at the sentencing.

His brother, Dinelson Frias, told the court, “Kelvin was the thread that held our family together and that thread is now frayed and can’t be made whole again,” according to information provided by Blodgett’s office.

MacDougall prosecuted the case with assistance from Victim Witness Advocate Jocelyn Pichardo.

She also thanked Trooper Matt Murphy of the Essex State Police Detective Unit and Methuen police Detective Charles DeJesus for their work on the investigation.

Attorney John Morris represented Salazar.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of Kelvin Frias, particularly his 9-year old daughter. While there is nothing we can do to restore their tremendous loss, it is my hope that they can now find some peace,” Blodgett said in the statement.

“Mr. Frias was a United States Marine Corps veteran who served his country with honor for four years of active duty. His senseless murder diminishes all of us,” he added.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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