March 2, 2016
WORCESTER – Raphael J. Rivera was sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of Juan Melendez on Rodney Street, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Mr. Rivera, who was found guilty of 2nd degree murder after a Superior Court jury trial in January, will be eligible for parole 15 years. He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm not at home or work and possession of ammunition without a FID card. The other two charges were indicted with career criminal enhancements. Judge Janet Kenton-Walker also gave Mr. Rivera a concurrent sentence of three years to three years and a day on the other charges.
At about 3 a.m. on September 18, 2011, Mr. Rivera and four co-defendants engaged in an attempted house break on Rodney Street armed with a firearm to rob and/or assault Mr. Melendez, 34. The victim arrived home in his car on Rodney Street and disrupted the break. He was killed in his car.
The four co-defendants are being held without bail while awaiting their trials.