Judge Sends Haverhill Man, Found Guilty of Groveland Murder, to Life in Prison Without Possibility of Parole

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)

Leedell Graham of Haverhill was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2019 murder of 82-year-old Patsy “Pat” Schena.

A jury in Salem Superior Court found 53-year-old Graham guilty this past Tuesday of first degree murder with extreme atrocity or cruelty and breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny over $1,200. Schena was killed inside his home on Governor’s Road in Groveland. The sentence was imposed by Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman.

“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,” said Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker.

Assistant District Attorneys Michael J. Sheehan and Susan Dolhun led the prosecution, which spanned the tenures of Tucker and former Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. After the verdict, Tucker cited the work of Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen and his team, Massachusetts State Police Captain John Costa, Troopers Alex Smith and Brendan Carnes, Victim Witness Advocate Cristina Garcia and Sheehan and Dolhun.

Prosecutors argued Graham entered Schena’s home June 21, 2019 with the intent to burglarize it and then, upon Schena’s return home, bludgeoned Schena to death with a 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.

The prosecution presented an array of video evidence documenting that Graham was around Schena’s home at the time of the murder as well as DNA evidence implicating Graham.

Graham was represented by defense attorney Jeanne Earley. Schena was a former building inspector in Groveland whose carpentry and construction work built many homes in Massachusetts and who served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves. Throughout the trial, Schena was remembered as a caring father and grandfather.

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