BOSTON, May 10, 2013—A Chelsea man today admitted to his role in the fatal shooting of Ronald Palacios in 2010, accepting a state prison term followed by probation rather than face trial, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
KEVIN SEMIGLIA (D.O.B. 1/14/90) pleaded guilty to the crimes of manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm, and assault charges in connection with Palacios’ May 4, 2010, shooting death. At the request of Assistant District Attorneys Mark Zanini and Gregory Henning, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders sentenced him to 9½ years in state prison followed by two years of probation.
Semiglia admitted that he drove with several associates of the Tiny Rascals Gang to the area of Essex Street in Chelsea, where they expected to find members of the rival Los Cholos gang. He admitted knowing that one member of his group was armed with a handgun and that he expected a shooting would ensue.
Semiglia further admitted that he drove his group past the rival group on Essex Street while his passengers showed their gang signs. At about 4:00 p.m., Semiglia admitted, he dropped off his armed associate in the area of Essex and Shurtleff streets. That associate opened fire on the targeted group but hit no one. Palacios, who was in the line of fire but not part of the targeted group, ran from the scene; moments later, when the shooter opened fire again, Palacios was struck in the head.
Palacios was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died of his injuries on May 6.
Had the case proceeded to trial, Zanini and Henning would have introduced evidence and testimony – including the testimony of Chelsea Police detectives, State Police homicide detectives assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office, and civilian witnesses – suggesting that Semiglia acted in concert with and shared the intent of ERLIN MEJIA (D.O.B. 8/10/91), whom prosecutors say was the shooter. Semiglia did not identify the gunman.
Mejia is currently a fugitive from justice, under indictment for first-degree murder in Palacios’ slaying. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Chelsea Police tip line at 617-466-4880 or the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at 617-727-8817.
Michael Schultz was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Semiglia was represented by attorney Timothy Bradl.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.