2012 East Boston slaying update: Jury selection begins

By Isabella Clausson

John Barrientos, 50, was stabbed and beaten to death at 6:56am on May 4, 2012. The fatal incident took place on 220 Chelsea Street in East Boston. Today, i.e., Thursday 16th November 2016, defendant and accused Cristian Santa, 20, charged with first degree murder was present along with his attorney Peter Marano and Assistant District Attorney Zachary Hillman. The Presiding judge over the case is Judge Christine Roach. Cristian Santa pleads not guilty to the charge.

The trial is currently in the process of Jury Selection. Around 80 potential jurors were present. The morning started out with the court officers handing each potential juror a two-page witness list. Following this, Judge Roach asked the jurors several questions as to whether they or a family member and/or friend had any sort of relationship with anyone on the said witness list. Additional questions were asked - such as whether jurors would tend to believe the testimony of a police officer simply because they are a police officer. The jurors were then instructed to raise their hand if their answer was yes so that their number could be put on the record.

After this, Judge Roach explained to the jury how the jury selction process would be lengthy, as she would be speaking to each potential juror one by one. Court officers proceeded to escort all jurors out of the courtroom. When Judge Roach was ready, a court officer would bring one selected juror at a time to the witness stand where the juror would be subjected to questioning by Judge Roach, Attorney Mr. Marano and ADA Mr. Hillman.

The trial is presumed to start after jury selection. Evidence shall be presented to the jurors, from 9am to 4pm, over the course of five to ten days. Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving break, the trial which will continue next week, is set only for Monday (21 November 2016), Tuesday (22 November 2016) and a half day on Wednesday (23 November 2016). The trial will then be picked up after the Thanksgiving break.

It was made clear to the jury by Judge Roach that in order to be convicted of first degree murder, the commonwealth must prove the defendant to have committed every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Until then, Mr. Santa, under the constitution, is innocent until proven guilty.

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