BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2013—A Dorchester man was sentenced to life in prison today after he admitted to shooting his girlfriend, 21-year-old Alessa Castellon, to death in a 2011 act of deadly domestic violence.
JUNIOR FERNANDES (D.O.B. 5/5/89) today pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and unlawful firearm possession in the July 24, 2011, shooting death of 21-year-old Alessa Castellon of Dorchester.
Judge Linda Giles imposed the mandatory sentence for second-degree murder, life in state prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. That sentence will run from and after a sentence of four years that Giles imposed on the firearm charge.
“This was a case of domestic violence that claimed a young life, an innocent life, a life of promise,” Conley said. “If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there’s a broad array of services and supporters ready to help.”
Victims of any crime, including domestic violence, should call 911 in an emergency. SafeLink, a statewide DV hotline, can be reached at 877-785-2020. SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as TTY at 877-521-2601. It also has the capacity to provide multilingual translation in more than 140 languages.
Had Fernandes’ case proceeded to trial on the indicted charge of first-degree murder, Assistant District Attorney David Fredette of the DA’s Homicide Unit would have introduced evidence to prove that Fernandes and members of his family were drinking at the Granger Street address where Fernandes’ sister lived on July 23, 2011, and into the early hours of July 24.
Around 3:00 on the morning of July 24, Castellon arrived at the address and became involved in an argument with Fernandes. Fernandes pulled out a gun and fired several shots, hitting Castellon, prosecutors said. Castellon suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene.
After the shooting, Fernandes tossed the gun into the bushes at a neighboring building and fled the scene. He was later arrested at his parents’ home.
“I will never see my daughter again,” Castellon’s mother said in a tearful impact statement delivered in court. “We will never see her beautiful face or hear her laugh. We will never see her hugging her son.”
“The way she was taken from me, personally, left me in such a shock that it still feels like I’m in a nightmare,” Castellon’s sister told Giles.
Fredette said that family members met with prosecutors 10 to 15 times in recent months to discuss the case. More than two dozen family members and supporters of Castellon appeared in court today.
Michael Schultz was the DA’s assigned victim witness advocate. Fernandes was represented by James Budreau.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.