Samia Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder

October 30, 2014

Oct. 30, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tim Connolly (508) 368-7236 or Paul Jarvey (508) 368-7241

WORCESTER — A Superior Court jury today found Elias Samia guilty of first-degree murder in the 1994 slaying of Kevin Harkins, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Mr. Samia, 48, is the third person found guilty of murdering Mr. Harkins who was called from Suney’s Pub around 10:30 on Feb. 15, 1994 and never seen again.

John Fredette and Matteo Trotto were found guilty in separate trials earlier this year and were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the mandatory sentence for a first-degree murder conviction. Judge Daniel Wrenn will sentence Mr. Samia on Monday.

“There was an unbelievable amount of hard work that went into these three cases to get first-degree murder convictions without a body or DNA,” Mr. Early said. “These cases show that we’ll never let the seemingly toughest cases be forgotten. Now, for the third time, Kevin Harkins has some justice, and his family has some justice.”

Prosecutors said Mr. Harkins, 36, 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.

An eyewitness testified that Mr. Trotto came in the front door of Suney’s and beckoned Mr. Harkins to go outside with him.

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.

Testimony during the trial indicated that a fight between Mr. Fredette and Mr. Harkins began to get out of hand and Mr. Samia shot Mr. Harkins.

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 six days of testimony, the jury began deliberating Monday afternoon and returned with its verdict about 2 p.m. today.