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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 Joel Quiles for the 2013 stabbing death of Jonathan Semedo.

On May 4, 2013, Brockton Police responded to a call for a home invasion with a person stabbed at 517 Summer Street. Upon arrival, police found two male victims who were treated at the scene and then transported to a local hospital. Semedo, 18, of Taunton, was pronounced dead at Brockton Hospital.

After a lengthy investigation by Massachusetts State Police and Brockton Police, Quiles, now 28 years-old, was arrested and charged with the murder in July, 2013.

In November, 2017, before Judge Richard Chin, a jury convicted Quiles of one count each of First Degree Murder, Armed Assault with Intent to Rob and Armed Home Invasion. Quiles was sentenced to Life without the possibility of Parole.

In his appeal to the SJC, Quiles argued that: his right to a jury determination of guilt upon sufficient evidence was violated, Judge Chin violated Quiles’ constitutional protection against double jeopardy, Judge Chin’s third jury instruction was unconstitutionally coercive, and his conviction of first degree murder was not justified.

In its opinion, the SJC affirmed Quiles’ convictions of Armed Home Invasion and of Murder in the First Degree based on a predicate felony of Armed Robbery. The SJC vacated Quiles’ conviction of Armed Assault with Intent to Rob as duplicative of his conviction of First Degree Murder.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jeremy Beth Kusmin and Keara Kelley, and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and Brockton Police. Assistant District Attorney Johanna Black handled the case on appeal.  

AUGUST 30, 2021