BOSTON, June 12, 2014—A Malden man has been sentenced to life in prison for the Labor Day 2010 murders of 25-year-old Angel Acevedo and 26-year-old Jenret Appleberry, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury found STEVEN ANDRE (D.O.B. 5/5/88) guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Acevedo and Appleberry inside their Chelsea apartment on the night of Sept. 5, 2010, as well as armed robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and assault with a dangerous weapon for threatening the life of another resident.
Jurors deliberated for approximately three days before delivering their verdict. After the verdict was returned, Judge Christine McEvoy imposed two concurrent sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole – the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder of life in prison without the possibility of parole. She imposed additional concurrent sentences of life in prison for armed robbery and four to five years for assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Assistant District Attorney John Pappas, the DA’s Chief Trial Counsel, presented evidence and testimony during the course of the two-week trial to prove that Andre was socializing with the victims at the victims’ Chester Avenue apartment on the evening of Sept. 5, 2010 and into the early hours of Sept. 6, 2010. Also home at the time were the victims’ roommate and his 5-year-old son, who were asleep in a bedroom.
Prosecutors proved that Andre, without warning, opened fire on the unarmed victims, striking Acevedo three times in the head and Appleberry once in the face and once in the head. Andre ordered the men’s roommate out of a bedroom where he and his son were hiding and threatened both of their lives if the man spoke with police. The roommate, who refused to put his son down, agreed to Andre’s demand for silence and was allowed to leave.
Before leaving the apartment, Andre took money, jewelry, a video game console, and other personal items belonging to the victims. Many of the stolen items were later discovered in Andre’s Malden apartment, including a Sony Playstation containing information that matched Appleberry’s account registration with Sony and a wristwatch that Appleberry was photographed wearing in the weeks and days prior to his murder.
In addition, cell phone records and witness statements placed Andre in the area of the Chelsea apartment during the time that the murders occurred.
“From the moment State Police detectives and Suffolk prosecutors arrived at the scene of these senseless murders, we have worked to find justice for Angel Acevedo and Jenret Appleberry. I hope that today’s verdict brings their families and community some measure of satisfaction in knowing that the man who so callously and cruelly murdered Angel and Jenret has been held accountable,” Conley said.
Pappas was assisted at trial by Assistant District Attorney Zachary Hillman of the DA’s Appellate Division. Catherine Rodriguez was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Andre was represented by attorney Aviva Jeruchim.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.