Accountability and Closure in Fatal Chelsea Shooting
Youth, 19, Was Slain; Six Others Injured at Chelsea Party
BOSTON, March 8, 2019—A Lynn teen pleaded guilty yesterday as his trial was set to begin on charges that he opened fire during a party three years ago, killing 19-year-old Pablo Villeda and injuring six others, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said.
EMANUEL MARRERO, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Pablo Villeda’s March 6, 2016, shooting death, as well as six counts of armed assault with intent to murder and related charges for injuries suffered by six other young people.
Judge Linda Giles imposed the mandatory sentence of life in prison, ordering that he be eligible for parole after 15 years and that his sentences on the non-fatal shootings be served concurrently. Had he chosen to go to trial, the defendant – who was 16 at the time of the homicide – would have faced a first-degree murder charge.
“We accepted this plea because it delivers a significant measure of accountability for the defendant’s actions, which took Pablo’s life just as it was ready to begin,” District Attorney Rollins said. “It also considers all the potential outcomes at trial and on appeal, as well as the defendant’s age at the time of the homicide. Nothing we do can bring Pablo Villeda back to his loving family, but I hope this final result can at least provide them with closure to this tragic event.”
Chelsea Police responded to 120 Washington Ave. in the early morning hours of March 6, 2016, for multiple calls reporting a disturbance at a party held inside a vacant apartment. They arrived to find seven people, ranging in age from 15 to 22, suffering gunshot wounds. Pablo was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries; the surviving victims were treated at Whidden Memorial Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Assistant District Attorney Julie Higgins of the DA’s Homicide Unit was prepared to introduce evidence and testimony showing that the defendant brought a .40 caliber handgun to the party, flaunting it to several other attendees. At some point, the evidence would have shown, the defendant confronted the victim and opened fire. Pablo was mortally wounded and six other people were struck, and fortunately survived their injuries. The defendant fled the scene but was identified in the course of an exhaustive investigation by Chelsea Police detectives and the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit.
Anite Cetoute and Tina Nguyen were the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocates. The defendant was represented by attorney Richard Chambers.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.