Maine man convicted of first-degree murder for 1994 shooting death of Massachusetts man


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WORCESTER, Massachusetts — A Maine man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, one day after he was convicted of a 1994 drug-connected slaying in Massachusetts.

John Fredette was sentenced in Worcester Superior Court after the judge heard emotional impact statements from the family of the victim, 36-year-old Kevin Harkins. Fredette, who was living in Saco, Maine, when he was charged in 2012, was found guilty of first-degree felony murder Tuesday after a four-day trial and five hours of jury deliberations.

Fredette, 51, and two co-defendants lured Harkins out of a Worcester bar where he worked as a bouncer and shot him in the head because he reneged on an agreement to offer false testimony in a drug case involving Fredette. His body was never found.

Harkins' daughter, Jessica Simone, spoke of "the crippling anger" she felt "because these men have such little regard for human life that they thought my father could be disposed of like he was nothing," according to The Telegram & Gazette (http://bit.ly/1qJfgQD ).

She said not even a second conviction in the case could bring her closure.

"That journey will not end until my father's remains are recovered and laid to rest and we are allowed to properly mourn him," she said.

Fredette's relatives in court maintained his innocence. His lawyer, Michael Hussey, said at sentencing that his client was abused and neglected and shipped from one foster home to another as a child.

Matteo Trotto, Fredette's former foster brother, was previously convicted of first-degree murder. A third man awaits trial.


Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts), http://www.telegram.com

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