Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Everett Chief of Police Steven Mazzie have announced that Jose Vasquez Ardon, 20, of Everett, was found guilty by a Middlesex Superior Court Jury on March 26 of first-degree murder in connection with the January 3, 2016 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Omar Wilfredo Reyes, of Everett.
The jury deliberated for approximately three and a half hours before reaching a verdict.
At approximately 12:20 a.m. on January 3, 2016, Everett Police responded to a report of an injured man under the Tileston Street Bridge behind Carter Street. Upon arrival, they located Reyes, who had sustained a single gunshot wound to the head. He was found directly beneath MS-13 graffiti and it appeared that the victim had been wearing headphones when he was shot as his music was still playing when he was located by a passerby. Reyes was then transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he died from his injuries on January 4.
Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Everett Police immediately began an investigation.
Through their investigation, authorities learned that on January 2, 2016, the victim received several messages from Jose Vasquez Ardon asking him to meet up. Reyes was met by the defendant, Cristian Nunez and allegedly Rigoberto Landaverde-Lemus, 25, of Everett, who walked to the underpass of the Tileston Street Bridge where the fatal shooting occurred. Authorities also observed that when the victim was discovered he had a 14-inch slash in his jacket.
Investigators obtained surveillance footage from where Reyes was supposed to meet the defendants. In one clip, the surveillance shows three males and the victim. About seven and a half minutes later, the three defendants can be seen emerging from the tunnel without the victim. Ardon’s face is visible in the surveillance footage.
Authorities would later learn that Jose Vasquez Ardon had sent a series of ruse Facebook messages to the victim immediately following the shooting asking why he had not arrived for their meeting. When the victim’s girlfriend responded to the messages, Ardon told her that the victim had never shown up.
In the days that followed the murder Ardon bragged to acquaintances about the shooting in an effort to improve his standing in the MS-13 hierarchy.
A search warrant was executed on the home of Jose Vasquez Ardon which resulted in authorities locating clothing hidden in the basement ceiling rafters. That clothing was tested for DNA and gunshot residue. Results indicated that DNA on a sweatshirt the defendant was seen wearing on video surveillance was a match to the clothing located in the rafters. Authorities also found the defendant’s fingerprints present on the bag containing his clothing.
Ardon was arrested in Revere and Nunez was arrested in Malden on January 30, 2016. Landaverde-Lemus was arrested by Chelsea Police for possession of a loaded firearm on June 26, 2016. He was subsequently charged with murder in connection to this case on September 21, 2016 after authorities allegedly matched his DNA to the DNA found on the clothing recovered in the ceiling rafters.
This charge is an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Cristian Nunez was found guilty of second-degree murder by a Middlesex Superior Court Jury on June 15, 2018.
This case was investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Everett Police Department, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the State Police Crime Lab DNA Unit.
The prosecutors assigned to this case were Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Dunigan, Carrie Spiros and Lindsay Russell. The Victim Witness Advocate was Dora Quiroz.