Second suspect in Holyoke death pleads not guilty to murder

  • BRIAN VAZQUEZ-RIVERA

Staff Writer
Published: 1/23/2020 11:42:48 PM

HOLYOKE — A second city man pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Thursday in connection with the shooting death of 21-year-old Jesus Otero Marrero, a city man who was found dead Jan. 10 on South Bridge Street.

Brian Vazquez-Rivera, 29, was held without bail in Holyoke District Court, according to Hampden district attorney’s office spokesman James Leydon. His next court date is Feb. 24.

Also charged with murder in connection with Marrero’s death is Jean Carlos Rivera, 30, of Holyoke, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is also being held without the right to bail. Rivera is due back in court on Feb. 14.

Another man, Merkin Andrade, 30, of Holyoke, was charged with misleading a police investigation and accessory to murder; his bail was set at $100,000 on the latter charge. His next court date is Feb. 13.

Vazquez-Rivera was arrested in the Bronx, New York, last Friday and returned to Holyoke on Wednesday, Leydon said.

Authorities responded to the area of 605 S. Bridge St. on the morning of Jan. 10, where Marrero was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds. Marrero was killed sometime on Jan. 9, according to police.

In an email to reporters earlier this month, Holyoke Police Chief Manny Febo has said  Marrero’s death “might have been prevented” if a federal judge imposed a longer sentence on Rivera after he pleaded guilty to a drug charge in November. Febo characterized Marrero’s death as a “‘gangland’ slaying” and said Rivera is a “validated ‘La Familia’ street gang member” in the email.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 


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