Holyoke man arraigned on murder charge


Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2020 3:20:08 PM

HOLYOKE — The man accused of fatally shooting 21-year-old Jesus Otero Marrero of Holyoke near South Bridge Street last Thursday pleaded not guilty to murder at his arraignment Tuesday morning.

Jean Carlos Rivera, 30, of Holyoke was ordered held without the right to bail in Holyoke District Court by Judge William P. Hadley. Hadley also agreed to motions which impounded Rivera’s entire court file and prevents Rivera’s defense attorneys from sharing witness and other sensitive information with Rivera or members of the public. Rivera was represented by Springfield attorney James Goodhines.

According to the Hampden County district attorney’s office, another man, Merkin Andrade, 30, of Holyoke, was charged with misleading a police investigation and accessory to murder and was arraigned Monday in Holyoke District Court. Andrade’s bail was set at $5,000 on the first charge and $100,000 on the accessory to murder charge, the district attorney’s office said.

Early last Friday, Holyoke Police responded to the area of 605 S. Bridge Street where Marrero was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds. Authorities immediately started a homicide investigation, the district attorney’s office said. In court, the clerk read the date of Rivera’s alleged offense as having taken place on Thursday, Jan. 9.

Marrero, along with 21-year-old Springfield resident Racquese Wright, were killed during a violent spree of five separate shootings in the city from Thursday to Saturday.

The district attorney’s office said police on Saturday responded to the area of 133 Sargeant St. after hearing multiple gunshots while on patrol. Wright was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Holyoke Hospital. His death is being investigated as a homicide.

The deaths of Marrero and Wright are still under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, the Holyoke Police Department and the Hampden District Attorney’s Office’s Murder Unit.

On Thursday evening, a man was injured after he was shot at the intersection of Main and Sargeant streets.

On Saturday, a juvenile boy also was injured after he was shot in the leg at 28 Gerard Way. Another shooting in the same complex Saturday night left no one injured.

In response to recent violence in the city, Mayor Alex Morse said in a statement that police will increase patrols as a “responsive measure,” but added the city will also continue with “proactive prevention.”

“It is an unfortunate reality that at the root of this violence is our city and country’s continued struggles with addiction, mental health, and systemic poverty,” Morse said. 

In a letter sent to school families, district receiver/superintendent Stephen Zrike said that while there has been no threats to any schools, “the violence is possibly connected to an ongoing rivalry and conflict between groups in Springfield and Holyoke.” Zrike said a Monday night boys high school basketball game against Springfield was rescheduled “out of an abundance of caution,” with all other school events occurring as planned.

Andrade is due back in court on Feb. 13. Rivera is due back in court on Feb. 12.

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


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