Suspect in fatal stabbing of family member in Ayer charged with murder

Suspect in fatal stabbing of family member in Ayer charged with murder

A suspect in a fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old family member in Ayer was charged with murder, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Laqwanda Villaronga, a 26-year-old Ayer native, was arraigned Friday and charged with one count of murder in connection to the stabbing of 24-year-old Jonathan Merritt.

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Police responded to a 911 call of a stabbing in Ayer around 1:18 p.m. on September 28, and authorities found Merritt when they arrived on Groton School Road.

Merritt was found with an apparent stab wound to the chest, and was transported to Nashoba Valley Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Authorities say a preliminary investigation suggests Merritt was in an altercation with Villaronga, who knew Merritt and lived in the Groton School Road apartment.

During the altercation, police say Villaronga allegedly stabbed Merritt with a kitchen knife, and she was subsequently detained at the scene.

She was previously arraigned on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury on October 1.

Villaronga is being held without bail, with her next court date set for November 5.

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office, Ayer Police and Massachusetts State Police are investigating the incident.