BOSTON, July 23, 2013—Two Chelsea youths, ages 15 and 18, have been arraigned in connection with the March 5 shooting death of Elder Morales Aldana in Chelsea, bringing the number of people charged in his homicide to three, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
ERICK ROMERO (D.O.B. 7/2/98) was arraigned yesterday in Chelsea Juvenile Court on one count of manslaughter and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon for allegedly instigating the sequence of events that led to Morales Aldana’s death on Blossom Street. He was held on $250,000 cash bail. Though he is a juvenile, prosecutors indicted Romero as a youthful offender, exposing him to the same penalties as an adult if convicted.
On July 16, ELDER PORTILLO (D.O.B. 8/1/94) was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. He was held without bail, accused of joining Romero as he ran up the front porch stairs at 52 Blossom St. and, with Romero, trying to attack Morales Aldana and another man. Romero and Portillo were allegedly armed with knives at the time, but were kept at bay when the victim swung a chain to protect himself.
At about this time, JONATHAN CASTRO SOLA (D.O.B. 7/30/90), also of Chelsea, allegedly ascended the same steps and produced a handgun that he fired multiple times, first as Morales Aldana and another man stood on the porch and then as they ran for their lives.
Morales Aldana was struck twice, suffering mortal injuries. He was transported to Whidden Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
Castro Sola was arrested later the same evening by Chelsea Police and State Police homicide detectives assigned to Conley’s office. He has been held without bail since his arraignment the next day.Romero and Portillo were identified in the course of the grand jury investigation that followed. Castro was indicted on May 21, and Portillo and Romero were indicted on July 10. Based on evidence and testimony elicited by Assistant District Attorney Mark Zanini, investigators believe the attack was instigated by Portillo and Romero because Portillo believed one of the men had stabbed him some months before.
Michael Glennon is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Castro is represented by attorney Frances Robinson, Romero by attorney Jeffrey Richards, and Portillo by attorney Eduardo Masferrer. Castro and Portillo will return to court on July 30 and Romero will return to court on Aug. 12.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.