‘Justice has been served’: Haverhill man convicted in 2019 murder of 82-year-old Groveland man

SALEM, Mass. — A Haverhill man has been convicted in the 2019 murder of 82-year-old Patsy “Pat” Schena, a well-known figure who worked as the town building inspector for many years.

Leedell Graham was found guilty by jury in Salem Superior Court of murder in the first degree with extreme atrocity or cruelty and breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny over $1,200, Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker said in a statement on Wednesday.

Schena was found dead inside his Governor’s Road home in Groveland on June 21, 2019.

Prosecutors said on that day, Graham, then 48, entered Schena’s home with the intent to burglarize it and then, when Schena returned home, bludgeoned the 82-year-old to death with a lamp and stabbed him with a knife.

“He was a gentleman, and well liked by everyone. I knew him. It’s cut to the core to our community,” Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillian said following the murder.

Prosecutors presented an array of video evidence showing Graham around Schena’s home at the time of the murder, as well as DNA evidence implicating Graham. Authorities said at the time of the murder that Schena and Graham knew each other through a private business transaction.

Schena, a U.S. Army veteran, was a former building inspector in Groveland whose carpentry and construction work built many homes in Massachusetts, Tucker said. Throughout the trial, Schena was remembered as a caring father and grandfather.

“While no one can undo this horrific murder, we hope that the verdict in this case brings Mr. Schena’s family some small measure of peace in the knowledge that justice has been served,” Tucker said.

After the verdict, Tucker cited several people who worked to bring justice for Schena’s family, including Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen and his team; Massachusetts State Police Capt. John Costa, Troopers Alex Smith and Brendan Carnes; Assistant District Attorneys Michael Sheehan and Susan Dolhun, and Victim Witness Advocate Cristina Garcia.

Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman presided over the trial.

Graham’s sentencing is scheduled for Friday morning in Salem Superior Court.

Groveland is a small town about 34 miles north of Boston, located southeast of Haverhill. The town’s population was 6,752 at the 2020 census.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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