A now-21-year-old Haverhill man was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of second-degree murder in the 2020 stabbing death of a 19-year-old after over a fight involving a former girlfriend.
A jury in Salem Superior Court found Oscar Quinones, formerly of 22 Sunrise Drive, Bradford, guilty in the slaying of Efrain Maisonet, also of Haverhill, April 7, 2020 in a parking lot behind Haverhill Stadium. Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman has scheduled sentencing for Nov. 10.
Essex County Assistant District Attorney Erin Bellavia convinced jurors Quinones met Maisonet to fight after Quinones “felt disrespected” because Maisonet was seeing his former girlfriend.
As WHAV reported at the time, a report by Haverhill Patrolman William Mears said the young men were accompanied by various teenagers, including the woman who had been Maisonet’s current girlfriend. Maisonet, known by his nickname “Nene,” was already outside in the rear parking lot at Haverhill stadium when Quinones rode up as a passenger in a car with three other people.
Maisonet’s girlfriend and another 19-year-old woman both said Quinones exited the car and began hitting the other teen “in the chest in a downward motion.” It wasn’t until Quinones withdrew that the women noticed a knife and Maisonet exclaimed he had been stabbed. The girlfriend told Mears “the knife was big and looked like a fishing knife.” She and other witnesses said Quinones then got back in the car and sped off. The two women, accompanied by another 18-year-old man and his female friend rushed the bleeding teen to Holy Family Hospital across the street. Maisonet was later airlifted to Boston where he died.
Quinones was arrested hours later near Harbor Place, downtown. He told Detective Kevin Portnoy he had “ongoing issues” with Maisonet for five years. He described the confrontations as “verbal at times, but have also escalated to physical altercations.” He admitted to stabbing Maisonet twice, but only after being punched while trying to leave. The Haverhill detective noted Quinones had “no visible marks on him.”
Quinones was represented by Attorney Jeff Miller. Bellavia was assisted at trial by Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick and Victim Witness Advocate Mikki Defeo. She thanked Massachusetts State Police Trooper Jay McCarthy, Detective Portnoy and Haverhill Police Capt. Andrea Fogarty for their investigation.