March 25, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Connolly 508-368-7236
WORCESTER – The State Appeals Court has affirmed the second-degree murder conviction of John Fredette in the 1994 killing of Kevin Harkins, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Mr. Fredette and two co-defendants, Matteo Trotto and Elias Samia, were indicted in 2012, 18 years after Mr. Harkins went missing. All three defendants were convicted in separate trials in Worcester Superior Court in 2014 and are serving life sentences.
Mr. Harkins left Suney’s Pub on Chandler Street on the night of Feb. 15, 1994 with the three defendants. He left behind his favorite Celtics jacket, house keys and a pack of cigarettes. He was never seen again.
Attorney Joseph A. Hanofee appealed Mr. Fredette’s conviction arguing that the trial judge erred in her instructions to the jury; that there was not enough evidence to prove the underlying felony of kidnapping; that hearsay should not have been admitted at trial; and that Fredette’s lawyer rendered ineffective assistance at trial.
Assistant District Attorney Ellyn H. Lazar argued the case for the Commonwealth.
The Appeals Court affirmed the conviction in a 27-page decision released today.
“I want to thank Ellyn Lazar for representing the victims and the Worcester County DA’s Office before our Appeals Court,” Mr. Early said. “This was a troubling case from the night Kevin Harkins left that bar and was never seen again. A dogged investigation by Worcester Police detectives and three great prosecutions by then First Assistant District Attorney Dan Bennett, aided by Assistant District Attorneys Terry Reidy and Stephen Carley, brought justice for Mr. Harkins’ loved ones.”