BOSTON, July 29, 2013—A Roslindale man faces sentencing tomorrow after a jury last week convicted him of first-degree murder in the senseless 2011 shooting death of 18-year-old Alex Sierra, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Thursday found RICARDO ARIAS (D.O.B. 10/22/93) guilty of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the unprovoked shooting that claimed Sierra’s life on Sept. 3, 2011. Under Massachusetts law, he faces a mandatory life term.
Arias’ co-defendant, ANTONIO SAEZ (D.O.B. 12/21/94), pleaded guilty in May to a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 22 months in a house of correction followed by four years of probation. Though Saez was a juvenile at the time of Sierra’s murder, Conley’s office indicted him as a youthful offender, making his name and the proceedings against him open to the public, and exposing him to the same penalties as an adult.
During the two-week trial, Assistant District Attorney Amy Galatis of the DA’s Homicide Unit presented evidence and testimony to prove that Arias shot Sierra dead as part of a long-running gang rivalry between Arias’ group, which was associated with Mission Hill, and another group affiliated with the Villa Victoria housing development. Sierra was not involved with either group or their feud.
“It was a cold-blooded act,” Conley said. “It was planned and premeditated and it claimed a promising young man’s life for absolutely no reason at all.”
On the day of Sierra’s murder, evidence showed, Arias was on a one-day pass from the custody of the Department of Youth Services, during which time he was supposed to be at Fenway Park watching a Red Sox game. Instead, witness testimony and cell phone records showed, he left the ballpark two hours prior to the murder and went with Saez to the area of Villa Victoria.
Witnesses testified that Arias approached several young men and asked if they were “from the Villa.” The last person he approached was Sierra, who answered in the affirmative. Arias pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots at Sierra, who staggered into a barbershop where he collapsed. He died of his injuries at Boston Medical Center.
A witness saw Arias and Saez running from the scene and was able to provide a partial license plate number of the vehicle the two entered. That vehicle was spotted by police minutes later in the area of Mission Hill. Officers saw both Arias and Saez run from the vehicle and watched Saez toss an item into a dumpster on Prentiss Street. That item was later discovered to be a handgun that proved to be a ballistic match to shell casings found at the scene of Sierra’s murder.
Michael Schultz was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Arias is represented by Robert Sinsheimer.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.