In Wake of Schena Murder, Police Chief Gillen Calls Groveland a ‘Wonderful Place to Live’

As Groveland neighbors continue to reel from the June 21 murder of beloved former building inspector Patsy Schena, Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen tells WHAV it was an isolated incident that should not cause concern for the community at large. Speaking in a press conference Friday alongside Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and the team of local and state law enforcement officials that helped capture Schena’s accused killer, 48-year-old Haverhill man Leedell Graham, Gillen said the town’s first murder in nearly 30 years has bent but will not break the town of 6,800. “Groveland remains a safe community and we, the members of Groveland Police, work every day to make sure it remains that way,” Gillen said. “As a community, we will stay strong to rebuild and continue to work together to make this a wonderful place to live.”

As WHAV previously reported, Cedar Street’s Graham was taken into custody Thursday night just before 9 p.m. by Haverhill Police at his home on a warrant out of Groveland and booked at the Haverhill Police station by Det. Sean Scharneck on a single count of murder.

Haverhill Man Knew, Allegedly Used Lamp to Kill Groveland’s Schena: Police

The 48-year-old Cedar Street man arrested and charged with murdering former Groveland building inspector Patsy Schena is said to have known the 82-year-old through “business dealings” not related to Schena’s town position, police told WHAV Friday, just hours before Graham answered to the murder charge in Haverhill District Court. At a press conference Friday morning, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen told WHAV the medical examiner declared Schena’s June 21 death to be the result of “blunt and sharp force trauma.”

Later Friday morning when Schena’s alleged killer Leedell Graham appeared before Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen Abany, it was revealed that police believe Graham used a lamp from Schena’s Governors Road home to kill him. According to a police report read into the court record by Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo, Graham was seen on public and private surveillance cameras walking from Haverhill into Groveland and into Schena’s home at 4:16 p.m. Schena arrived home at 4:23 p.m. and a call to Groveland Police came in just before midnight. A forensic investigation done by Groveland Police Saturday morning determined he was killed Friday night. As Graham’s girlfriend audibly sobbed from the courtroom gallery, DePaulo detailed how a bag of items dumped near Schena’s home further linked him to the crime.

Haverhill Man Arrested for ‘Brutal’ Murder of Groveland Building Inspector Schena

A 48-year-old Cedar Street man was arrested Thursday night by Groveland Police for the “shocking and brutal” murder of Groveland building inspector Patsy Schena. Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett confirmed the arrest Friday morning. Leedell Graham was taken into custody at his home at 52 Cedar St., at 9:30 p.m. and booked at the Groveland police station before being held overnight at the Middleton House of Correction, Blodgett’s spokeswoman Carrie Kimball told WHAV in a statement. He is expected to be arraigned in Haverhill District Court Friday morning on one count of murder. “We appreciate the public’s patience,” Gillen said.

Haverhill Man Receives 15-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Fentanyl Sales, Gun Crime

A 31-year-old Haverhill man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison for dealing in the deadly drug fentanyl and having a gun during a drug trafficking crime. Joshua Smith was hired by an illicit drug organization to sell fentanyl to customers from various New England States, according to New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and possessing a firearm to further drug trafficking. Smith previously pleaded guilty Dec. 18.

Haverhill Police Investigating Overnight Shooting on Grove Street

Several concerned neighbors called 911 to report shots fired overnight in the Mount Washington neighborhood. (File photograph)

Multiple shots were fired overnight in the area of Grove and Marshall Streets in Haverhill’s Mount Washington neighborhood, police tell WHAV. Department spokesman Capt. Stephen J. Doherty Jr. said several concerned neighbors called 911 to report gunfire around midnight Wednesday. People were inside at the time shots were fired, Doherty said. He would not comment on a motive or say if the shooting was gang-related.

Haverhill Man to Face Arraignment for Larkin Murder

Carlos Rivera has been arrested and charged with the May 2018 murder of Jeffrey Larkin, police said. (File photograph)

A 39-year-old Haverhill man was arrested Wednesday afternoon, charged with the May 2018 murder of city man Jeffrey Larkin on Emerson Street. Carlos Rivera was taken into custody by Haverhill and State Police and will answer to a murder charge during arraignment Thursday in Haverhill District Court, Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said in a joint statement. Rivera, of 30 Lancaster St., was arrested at his home by Haverhill Detective Joseph Benedetti on an outstanding warrant just before 2 p.m.

Larkin and Rivera were acquaintances, police said. A 25-year-old woman named Sky Stefanelli was also indicted by an Essex County grand jury Wednesday on a charge of accessory after the fact.

Oliver Attorney Casts Doubt on Found Firearm After Pat-Frisk: ‘Something Went Wrong’

Criminal defense attorney Alex Moskovsky (left) acted on Elijah Oliver's behalf during a Haverhill District Court arraignment September 21. (WHAV News photograph)

Arraigned on unlicensed firearms charges Friday, Haverhill’s Elijah Oliver appointed a new attorney who cast doubt that the handgun found in a police cruiser belonged to his client. Instead, attorney Alex Moskovsky pointed fingers at the three officers that carried out, what was called, a “brief” pat-frisk of Oliver when he was arrested as his 257 Lowell Ave., home Thursday morning. As WHAV previously reported, 19-year-old Oliver was handcuffed amid the pat-frisk that resulted in found marijuana—but not the Smith & Wesson 9mm loaded with seven bullets. Acknowledging that the pat-frisk was likely done hastily given the circumstances, Oliver’s attorney placed blame on the three officers—including a State Police trooper—on scene.