Lawrence man still faces trial for killing woman, dumping body

Staff file photoGiovanni Lebron of Lawrence appears in Essex County Superior Court in Salem in 2019. He is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of 24-year-old Nicole Connor.

SALEM, Mass. — The man who allegedly helped Giovanni Lebron dump a young woman's body into the Spicket River in Lawrence was already sentenced to a state prison term.

The status of the first-degree murder case against Lebron, two years after the death of Nicole Connor, 24, will be reviewed before a superior court judge later this summer.

Lebron, 26, and Nelson Gilles, 25, of Lawrence were both captured on surveillance tape dumping Connor's body into the Spicket River on July 23, 2019, authorities said. 

Investigators said both men were dumping Connor's body, along with a couch, into the river near the Manchester Street park. 

Charged with the murder of the Haverhill woman, Lebron was initially arraigned secretly in a Lawrence General Hospital room.

He did not appear publicly in a courtroom until three months later, after he was indicted by the Essex County grand jury, and faced arraignment in Salem Superior Court. 

A court conference to review the status of the case is scheduled for Aug. 11. 

A trial date has not yet been set. 

Criminal cases faced significant delays in courthouses across the state due to COVID-19 restrictions and policies. Those mandates were recently relaxed, allowing for jury trials and increased review of felony cases. 

Following Connor's murder, blood spots were found on the walls of Lebron's apartment nearby at 20 Daisy St. and during questioning by investigators, Lebron admitted to stabbing and killing Connor, a prosecutor said previously.

During booking, Lebron became distressed and started banging his head in a booking room at the Lawrence Police Department, authorities said. 

He was taken to the hospital and there he "told a nurse he murdered somebody and called his friend to help him dispose of the body," Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Nasson said during a previous court hearing.

Lebron, if convicted of first-degree murder, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Gilles pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact Sept. 1 and was sentenced to two to six years in state prison. 

However, with 396 days credit for time he's already served at Middleton Jail, Gilles could be eligible for parole this year. 

For conviction of accessory after the fact, he faced a maximum penalty of seven years in state prison. Prosecutors sought a sentence of six to seven years, according to court records.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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