The 48-year-old Cedar Street man arrested and charged with murdering former Groveland building inspector Patsy Schena is said to have known the 82-year-old through “business dealings” not related to Schena’s town position, police told WHAV Friday, just hours before Graham answered to the murder charge in Haverhill District Court.
At a press conference Friday morning, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen told WHAV the medical examiner declared Schena’s June 21 death to be the result of “blunt and sharp force trauma.”
Later Friday morning when Schena’s alleged killer Leedell Graham appeared before Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen Abany, it was revealed that police believe Graham used a lamp from Schena’s Governors Road home to kill him.
According to a police report read into the court record by Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo, Graham was seen on public and private surveillance cameras walking from Haverhill into Groveland and into Schena’s home at 4:16 p.m. Schena arrived home at 4:23 p.m. and a call to Groveland Police came in just before midnight. A forensic investigation done by Groveland Police Saturday morning determined he was killed Friday night.
As Graham’s girlfriend audibly sobbed from the courtroom gallery, DePaulo detailed how a bag of items dumped near Schena’s home further linked him to the crime.
“There was a bag found one-tenth of a mile from where the murder occurred and that bag contains several items: The handle of a knife, car keys of the deceased, a lamp that the State Police feel is the murder weapon,” DePaulo said.
The other end of the knife was found inside Schena’s home. A couple walking their dog a half-mile from Schena’s home came across clothing allegedly worn by Graham on the night of the murder wrapped around jewelry identified as stolen from Schena by family members, DePaulo said.
As Graham remains held without bail until his next court date in August, Judge Abany allowed DePaulo’s request to seal all court records—including search warrants of Schena’s home—for fear it may “jeopardize the ability of law enforcement officers to investigate” the crime.