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New York Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Callahan State Park Murder

The defendant was sentenced to 9 to 12 years in state prison for the voluntary manslaughter charge, 2 ½ to 3 years in state prison to run concurrent on the firearm charge, and 5 years of probation on the ammunition charge.

A New York man, living in Marlborough, pleaded guilty today, Oct. 30 to charges related to the 2009 murder of a 17-year-old that occurred in Callahan State Park in Framingham, said Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone in a press release.

 Yessling Gonzalez, 22, of New York, pleaded guilty today in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of voluntary manslaughter, carrying a firearm without a license, and possession of ammunition without a license.  

Middlesex Superior Court Judge Garry V. Inge sentenced the defendant to 9 to 12 years in state prison for the voluntary manslaughter charge, 2 ½ to 3 years in state prison to run concurrent on the firearm charge, and 5 years of probation from and after his prison sentence on the ammunition charge.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

“This case is another tragic example of a young person resorting to guns and violence to resolve conflict,” Leone said.  “We are pleased that the defendant admitted responsibility for his role in the murder of Tyriffe Lewis and together, with his co-defendant who shot Tyriffe, will now be held accountable.  Our thoughts remain with Tyriffe’s family and friends.”

According to authorities, on June 20, 2009, at approximately 2:15 p.m., Framingham police and emergency personnel responded to Callahan State Park for a report of a male lying face down on the ground.  Officers discovered the victim, Tyriffe Lewis, 17, evidencing gunshot wounds and he was pronounced deceased.

Officials immediately launched an investigation and learned that on June 19, 2009, Brown, Gonzalez, the victim, and others, were at a party in Marlborough. During the evening, Brown placed a bag of marijuana and money on the table. One person removed the money and another took the marijuana and Brown mistakenly believed the victim had stolen both.  After an exchange of words, a fight ensued between Brown and the victim during which the victim gave Brown a black eye in front of his friends and family.  Immediately after the fight, Brown told others he was going to kill the victim and anyone who snitched on him.

On June 20, 2009, Brown, Gonzalez, and the victim met up in Marlborough and drove to the park together in Gonzalez’s car. Upon their arrival, the three men walked about 100 yards into the woods. Brown produced a semi-automatic handgun and shot the victim twice. Brown and Gonzalez then fled the park in Gonzalez’s vehicle.

The case was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Framingham Police. The Assistant District Attorneys are Christopher Tarrant and Anne Pogue.  The Victim Witness Advocate is Leisa Schymonowytsch.

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