Massachusetts police seek death penalty in homicide of 18-year-old stabbed to death in park

An 18-year-old man who was stabbed to death in a Massachusetts park after trying to break up a fight is facing murder charges and accused of taking part in a deadly brawl, the city of Worcester, where the assault happened, announced on Monday. reports that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for the suspect, who was 19 at the time of the attack.

Miguel Ortiz, who used to live in Massachusetts, was being arraigned in Worcester District Court on Monday in connection with his role in the 2017 slaying of Yusef Kellum. The murder suspect, who was named a person of interest by officials shortly after the incident, was arrested in April after more than a year on the run. Police said Ortiz was identified as a suspect in March of last year by a 28-year-old man with whom the victim was involved in a large fight earlier that night.

“While the wounds were not life-threatening at the time, the 28-year-old victim later died from his injuries. The same month, Ortiz also traveled to North Carolina to make contact with two other suspects,” reports. That same month, Ortiz’s driver, Christopher Bastian, 21, and friend James Wooles, 23, were also arrested and were charged with murder. After their initial arrest, Bastian was tried and sentenced to life in prison, while Wooles was found guilty by a jury last month and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 31 years.

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