Contact: Beth Stone- (508) 584-8120
BROCKTON – A jury has convicted a Brockton man in the savage beating death of a city man known throughout the community, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
A Plymouth County jury deliberated six hours before finding Carlos Ramon Velazquez (DOB: 5/19/87) guilty of one count of murder for the August 20, 2013 beating death of Lee Harmon (DOB: 08/19/39). Brockton Superior Court Judge Richard Chin sentenced Velazquez to serve life in prison at MCI-Cedar Junction.
On August 20, 2013, at approximately 8:42 p.m., Brockton Police were called to the parking lot at 120 Clinton Street for a call of a man injured. The victim was later identified as Lee Harmon, a local pastor, who was known throughout the community as a good-deed doer, and who could often be seen riding his bike all over the city. When rescue crews arrived on scene, Harmon was laying motionless in the parking lot of 120 Clinton Street with the bike still between his legs. Harmon was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead at 9:02 pm. State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office were notified and responded to the scene. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was blunt force injury to the head.
As part of the investigation, witnesses indicated that they heard a crash and a commotion that night, including breaking of glass and then a verbal confrontation. When witnesses arrived in the parking lot they found Mr. Harmon bleeding from what appeared to be massive head wounds, as well as, a large gash in his right lower arm. One witness assisted police in developing a detailed sketch and several anonymous tips eventually led to the arrest of Velazquez nearly three weeks later.
The investigation later revealed that Velazquez encountered Harmon on his bicycle the night of August 20, 2013. Following a confrontation between the two, Velazquez unleashed a violent tirade on Harmon, beating him with a hammer about the head and body until the hammer head broke off of the wooden handle.
Investigators located Velazquez’s keys at the scene, and his hat with his DNA and fingerprint on it. The defendant’s DNA was also found on Mr. Harmon’s bike handlebars as well as on the hammer.
“Mr. Harmon could be regularly seen pedaling his bicycle around the streets of Brockton, passing out prayer cards to anyone who would take one,” DA Cruz said. “On this night, Mr. Harmon set out on his bike to go assist his daughter. He never returned home to his wife, children and grandchildren.”
After the verdict was read, two family members spoke on Mr. Harmon’s behalf. Both women told Velazquez they had forgiven him and apologized to his family for what they were going through. “Mr. Harmon was beloved by his family and many in the community,” DA Cruz said. “The reflection of his gentle demeanor and warm-hearted character was evident in the courtroom today with the amount of forgiveness that flowed from his family toward the defendant, just minutes after a guilty verdict was read.”
Assistant District Attorneys Jeremy Beth Kusmin and Brian Fahy prosecuted the case, which was investigated by State Police assigned to the District’s Attorney’s Office and Brockton Police.