Jury Convicts Merrimac Man, 21, of 2020 Stabbing Murder of 26-Year-Old Haverhill Man

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Jose F. Vasquez Jr. (Courtesy photograph.)

A 21-year-old Merrimac man was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder and a 28-year-old Haverhill man convicted of accessory after the fact in armed robbery stemming from the 2020 stabbing of a Haverhill man during an armed robbery.

Kaiden Henderson was charged with killing 26-year-old Jose Vasquez on Nov. 21, 2020, while robbing him in an apartment on Marble Street in Haverhill. As WHAV previously reported, Henderson and then-20-year-old David Trongeau were indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury early in 2021 for murder and armed robbery, while Johnson of Haverhill was charged with two counts of being an accessory after the fact.

A jury sitting in Salem Superior Court found Henderson guilty of felony murder and armed robbery and Johnson guilty of accessory to armed robbery after the fact, but acquitted him of accessory to murder.

Trongeau died July 28, 2021 at Beverly Hospital while in the custody of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. The state medical examiner later ruled Trongeau’s death was suicide by hanging.

Judge Thomas Drechsler set sentencing for May 8.

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said Henderson faces a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole on the murder conviction. Johnson faces a sentence of seven years for his accessory conviction. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kelleen Forlizzi and James Gubitose, while Henderson was represented by attorney John Apruzzese of Salem, and Johnson by attorney John Morris of Salem.

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