DEDHAM, Mass. — Closing arguments began Thursday in the second murder trial for Emanuel Lopes, who is accused of killing Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna and bystander Vera Adams in July 2018.
The new trial for Lopes began last month in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, six months after a mistrial was declared in his initial trial.
During the first trial, attorneys for the 26-year-old Lopes didn’t dispute their client fatally shot Chesna, 42, and Adams, 77, on July 15, 2018. But his attorneys did question whether Lopes should be held criminally responsible, claiming his history of mental illness caused him to act irrationally in their deaths.
Jurors deliberated for five days and were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Moments after the mistrial was declared, some of Chesna’s family members were heard gasping loudly and crying. Cindy Chesna was seen crying as she left the courtroom.
During closing arguments of the second trial, the defense once again claimed Lopes’ history of mental illness caused him to act irrationally.
“He was not a thinking man,” Defense Attorney Larry Tipton said.
But prosecutors say Lopes knew what he was doing.
“He can appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions,” Prosecutor Greg Connor said.
Lopes is accused of using a rock to disarm Chesna and then killing the officer with his own service weapon. Adams was also shot and killed while sitting nearby on her sun porch.
If he’s convicted, he will face life in prison.
If he is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he could be sent to a mental health facility.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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