Accused killer of Edward Villalona had history of gun crimes

Yerri Perez, the 22-year-old Medford man accused of fatally shooting Edward Villalona in March, had a history of gun-related convictions, according to police reports.

Prosecutors claim Perez shot the 33-year-old Villalona during a confrontation on Mindon Street in Roxbury around 8:30 a.m. on March 31. He was arrested in August and pleaded innocent to all charges.

Perez, who is being held at Suffolk County Jail, is accused of murder and carrying a firearm without a license – his alleged second offense of that kind – among other charges.

In April 2010, officers arrested Perez and an associate at Mozart and Centre streets in Jamaica Plain on firearm charges, according to the police report. The officers reported that they observed a large group of people “acting suspiciously”  in a nearby park and that when they approached Perez he tried to leave the area on a bicycle.

When an officer blocked his escape, Perez pulled a handgun from his waistband, the report said. The officer pushed him into a fence, forcing Perez to drop the gun, and he was arrested.

Perez, who was already on probation at the time of his April 2010 arrest, was convicted on four possession of firearm and ammunition charges.

In addition to the charges brought against him for Villalona’s murder, Perez is also currently facing a separate charge of possession and trafficking of more than 200 grams of heroin, according to court documents.

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