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SJC Affirms First Degree Murder Conviction Against Brockton Man

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Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120

BROCKTON – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today affirmed the first degree Murder conviction of Joao Teixeira for the 2009 shooting death of Keith Leverone, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.

At approximately 3:11 a.m. on February 7, 2009, Brockton Police received multiple calls for shots fired at 662 Belmont Street. Upon arrival, officers found Leverone in the parking lot of a convenience store suffering from a gunshot wound to head. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the manner of death was homicide.

An investigation by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and Brockton Police determined that Teixeira was involved in a physical altercation outside the convenience store shortly before the shooting. After the altercation ended, Teixeira was seen arming himself with a handgun. Immediately thereafter, Leverone was shot in the parking lot.

In 2012, Teixeira was convicted of Murder in the First Degree by deliberate premeditation and of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the shooting of Leverone, who was 19 at the time and from Brockton. Teixeira was sentenced to Life without the Possibility of Parole.

The defendant’s appeal to the SJC focused on jury instructions, introduction of prior bad acts, statements made by the prosecutor during opening statements and closing arguments, ineffective assistance from his trial counsel, and a claim of newly discovered evidence. Teixeira also asked the court to reduce the first degree Murder verdict. Today, in a published decision, the SJC rejected Teixeira’s claims.

In its published opinion, the SJC held, “We conclude there was no error, and accordingly affirm the convictions. We also discern no reason to use our extraordinary authority to reduce the murder verdict to a lesser degree of guilty or to order a new trial.”

The SJC court case was handled by Assistant District Attorney Mary Nguyen.

January 20, 2021