Lawrence Superior Court Jury Convicts 67-Year-Old Man in Baseball Bat Beating Death

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

A 67-year-old Lawrence man was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday for beating his neighbor to death with an aluminum baseball bat.

Martin Rodriguez was charged with the murder of 53-year-old Jose Burgos. The two lived in a YMCA rooming house at the time of the 2017 attack. A jury sitting in Lawrence Superior Court agreed to both theories presented by the prosecution: the murder was committed with premeditation, as well as extreme atrocity and cruelty.

“This was a brutal crime and I’m pleased the jury considered all of the evidence before delivering a just verdict,” Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Michael Sheehan and Caitlin Shugrue.

They were assisted by Victim Witness Advocate Mikki Defeo; Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and members of the Essex County District Attorney’s Office State Police Detective Unit; detectives and patrol officers from the Lawrence Police Department; and former Lawrence Detective Kevin Schiavone.

The trial began March 8. Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman presided over the case. Rodriguez was represented by Attorney Michael Phelan of Salem.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 27.

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