Second trial for man charged in murders of Weymouth sergeant, bystander, a challenge for both sides

DEDHAM, Mass. — In Dedham Superior Court last July, it was a legal shock.

After six days, one juror refused to deliberate, resulting in a hung jury and a mistrial in the Emanuel Lopes double murder trial.

Lopes is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna and 77-year-old resident Vera Adams.

Now, six months later, another jury, this one chosen in Taunton in Bristol County, is about to take on the case in Dedham, in Norfolk County.

“I’ve done it from both sides, as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, it’s very hard to retry a case,” attorney Phil Tracy told Boston 25 News.

Emanuel Lopes is accused of hitting Sgt. Chesna in the head with a rock and then shooting and killing him and bystander Adams with Chesna’s gun.

In the first trial, the defense blamed Lopes’ mental illness for the attacks

Attorney Peter Elikann says even in a second trial, an insanity defense will be difficult.

“They are very unpopular and they are usually what we call a ‘Hail Mary’ by the defense,” Elikann said. “That when you know you can’t prove a person didn’t do it you then have to show they are not capable of it. And it’s a real hard sell for juries.”

This retrial will take its biggest toll on the people closest to Sgt. Chesna and Vera Adams.

They have been waiting five and a half years for justice.

“It’s the most heartbreaking nightmare for the families, they’ve got to do this all over again. It’s like you go back to square one,” Elikann said.

“These are victim-oriented cases they need to make the victims as whole again as they possibly can, and that’s not easy,” Tracy said.

Opening statements are scheduled to start 9 a.m. Wednesday at Dedham Superior Court.

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