Superior Court Jury Convicts Haverhill Man in Murder of Former Groveland Building Inspector

Leedell Graham was arraigned in Haverhill District on June 28, 2019 on a charge of murder for allegedly killing former Groveland building inspector Patsy Schena. (WHAV News photograph)

A jury in Salem Superior Court convicted Leedell Graham of Haverhill for the 2019 murder of Patsy “Pat” Schena, who was 82 when he was killed inside his home on Governor’s Road in Groveland.

Graham was found guilty of murder in the first degree with extreme atrocity or cruelty and breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny over $1,200. Sentencing by Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman is scheduled for Friday, June 21, at 9:30 a.m. in Salem Superior Court.

“While no one can undo this horrific murder, we hope that the verdict in this case brings Mr. Schena’s family some small measure of peace in the knowledge that justice has been served,” Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said in a statement this morning.

As WHAV reported five years ago, police said former Groveland building inspector Schena was said to have known Graham through “business dealings” not related to Schena’s town position. At a press conference then-Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen told WHAV the medical examiner declared Schena’s June 21, 2019 death was the result of “blunt and sharp force trauma.”

Assistant District Attorneys Michael J. Sheehan and Susan Dolhun led the prosecution, which spanned the tenures of Tucker and Blodgett. During the trial prosecutors said Graham entered Schena’s home with the intent to burglarize it and then, upon Schena’s return home, bludgeoned Schena to death with the lamp and stabbed him with a knife. Groveland Police and Massachusetts State Police responded and investigated, leading to Graham’s arrest in June of 2019.

Prosecutors presented video evidence documenting that Graham was around Schena’s home at the time of the murder as well as DNA evidence implicating Graham. After the verdict, Tucker cited the work of Gillen and his team; Massachusetts State Police Captain John Costa, Troopers Alex Smith and Brendan Carnes, as well as Victim Witness Advocate Cristina Garcia, along with Sheehan and Dolhun.

Graham was represented by attorney Jeanne Earley. Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman is presiding over the case.

Throughout the trial, Schena was remembered as a caring father and grandfather. Besides serving as a former building inspector in Groveland, Schena’s carpentry and construction work built many homes in Massachusetts and he served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

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