A man who unloaded a barrage of bullets in Roxbury, fatally striking an innocent bystander and two intended targets two years ago pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter in Suffolk County Court on Tuesday.
Jael Romero, 25, opted to skip trial and head to state prison after he admitted to opening fire at rivals who were attacking his friend at a houseparty on Intervale Street on June 22, 2013. His friend suffered lacerations and six stab wounds.
In the midst of the fight, Romeo brandished a gun he was not licensed to carry and squeezed off five rounds. Brian Triado, 23, was hit once and Felix Garcia Jr., 22, was hit twice. Both men died of their injuries at the scene. Ana Cruz was struck twice and died of her injuries at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Tirado and Garcia were involved in the fight, but Cruz was an innocent party. Had the case gone to trial, Romero would have faced three counts of second-degree murder, and prosecutors would have had to battle his claim that Romero was defending his friend from a potentially fatal violent encounter.
Instead, Romero decided to forego the risk of a longer sentence and plead guilty, which earned him a 13 to 16 year sentence.