June 24, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Connolly (508) 368-7236 or Paul Jarvey (508) 368-7241
WORCESTER — A Superior Court jury today found John Fredette guilty of first-degree murder in the 1994 slaying of Kevin Harkins, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Mr. Fredette, 51, who was living in Saco, Maine in 2012 when he was arrested, is the second man convicted for the murder of Mr. Harkins.
Matteo Trotto was found guilty of first-degree murder last month. A third defendant, Elias Samia of Worcester has also been charged with murder and faces trial Oct. 16 in Worcester Superior Court.
“There was an unbelievable amount of work that went into this,” Mr. Early said. “Now, for the second time, Kevin Harkins has some justice, and his family has some justice.”
The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison without parole. Judge Janet Kenton-Walker will impose the sentence at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Mr. Harkins, 36, was called from Suney’s Pub on Chandler Street about 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 1994 and never seen again.
Prosecutors said Mr. Harkins was murdered because he reneged on a deal to give false testimony in Mr. Fredette’s drug trial on Feb. 15, 1994 in exchange for a bag of cocaine. Mr. Fredette was convicted and sentenced to 4-6 years in prison in 1994.
Mr. Harkins left personal items on the bar, but he never returned and was declared dead in 2008 by the Worcester Family and Probate Court.
Mr. Early praised the work of Worcester Police and the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office for their thorough investigation. He also lauded the prosecution team led by Senior First Assistant District Attorney Daniel J. Bennett and also including Assistant District Attorneys Terrence M. Reidy and Stephen Carley.
After hearing more than three days of testimony, the jury began deliberating about 9:30 a.m. today and returned with its verdict about 2:30 p.m.