Man sentenced to life in prison for 2016 murder of Vanessa Marcotte in Princeton

WORCESTER, Mass. — The Worcester man who murdered a jogger in Princeton six years ago was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after changing his plea to guilty.

Angelo Colon-Ortiz appeared in Worcester Superior Court, where he accepted a guilty plea deal of second-degree murder in connection with the August 2016 killing of Vanessa Marcotte. Colon-Ortiz was sentenced to serve life in prison, according to officials.

Marcotte was jogging near her mother’s Princeton home when she was attacked, sexually assaulted, and killed, authorities said. Nine months later, Colon-Ortiz was arrested and charged in the 27-year-old’s death.

While delivering a victim impact statement, the uncle of Marcotte told the court that her father passed away last week. He said he died of a broken heart after six years of constant grief over losing his only child.

Marcotte’s mother told the court that Colon-Ortiz’s brutal actions robbed her of seeing her daughter get married and become a grandmother.

Investigators with Massachusetts State Police took a cheek swab test from Colon-Ortiz with his consent when they went to his home in March 2017. His DNA, according to authorities, matched the DNA collected from Marcotte’s fingernails during her autopsy.

In June 2021, Colon-Ortiz claimed that there was a Spanish language translation barrier and that he didn’t give the police his consent to take his DNA.

One of the reasons why this case dragged on so long is that Colon-Ortiz fired his lawyers three years ago after trying to get his DNA evidence tossed. However back in January 2022, a judge denied his request.

“We are thankful and gratified the legal process has accomplished what we always wished for, that this man will now be in a place where he can’t hurt anyone else like the way he hurt Vanessa,” the Marcotte family said. “To honor and remember Vanessa, we will continue to educate and protect women through the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation.

A foundation has since been established in Marcotte’s name to “advocate for a world where women are safe and free to live boldly and fearlessly.”

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

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