The Somerville man charged with murdering 15-year-old Jimmy Vasquez in Chelsea last year was ordered held without bail at his arraignment this week, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Juan Carlos Matos Figueroa, 22, of Somerville, was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on indictments charging first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity feeding device, carrying a loaded firearm, assault and battery by discharging a firearm, four counts of attempted assault and battery by discharging a firearm, and five counts of armed assault with intent to murder for opening fire on a group of unarmed teens, killing Vasquez and striking a second victim. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Stacey Pichardo of the DA’s Gang Unit, Figueroa was ordered held without bail.
According to prosecutors, Vasquez and five other teens aged 15 to 18 were standing in front of a Shurtleff Street address on the afternoon of January 13, 2017. No member of the group was armed.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m., a vehicle in which Figueroa was a backseat passenger made its way down Shurtleff Street toward Grove Street. Figueroa allegedly produced a 9mm handgun equipped with a 30-round magazine and a red laser sight and pointed the weapon at the group, garnering the group’s attention with the laser, prosecutors said.
The vehicle continued down the street a short distance before stopping. Figueroa then exited and opened fire on the group, fatally striking Vasquez in the abdomen and a second 15-year-old in the foot, Pichardo said.
Figueroa and the other occupants of the vehicle then fled the area.
During the investigation that followed, Chelsea Police detectives and State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office undertook witness interviews, retrieved video footage from cameras in the area, and collected physical evidence that included shell casings recovered at the scene of the shooting.
Suffolk prosecutors continued the investigation behind the closed doors of the grand jury, resulting in the return of 14 indictments against Figueroa on Friday. Chelsea and State Police located him at a Jacques Street residence in Somerville that same date and took him into custody.
Erin O’Connor is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Figueroa is represented by Robert Griffin. He returns to court May 10.
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