A teenager wanted for stabbing a man to death in Haverhill was tracked by a State Police fugitive unit to the city of Taunton, where he was found hiding in a closet, investigators said.
David Trongeau, 19, is charged in the Nov. 21 stabbing murder of Jose Vasquez, 26. State Police arrested Trongeau without incident on Monday afternoon of last week, police said.
Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney's office, said Trongeau was arrested by the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section. State Police spokesman David Procopio said troopers and Taunton Police received information Trongeau was likely at a home in that city. Members of both agencies went to the address and found Trongeau hiding in an upstairs bedroom closet, Procopio said.
Trongeau appeared before Judge Cesar Archilla in Haverhill District Court last Tuesday morning to be formally charged with one count of murder. The judge entered a not guilty plea on Trongeau's behalf and ordered him held without bail, without prejudice, meaning that the court can revisit the issue of bail at any time. The judge impounded all police reports associated with the case, but did not state a reason for doing so.
The judge allowed a motion by Assistant District Attorney Stephen LaMonica to have Trongeau's bail revoked on a pending case in Lawrence District Court on charges of receiving a stolen motor vehicle and intimidation of a witness.
Wearing a mask that at times slipped below his nose, Trongeau appeared despondent and disinterested in what was being said during last Tuesday's court hearing. His facial tattoos were clearly visible, including a Nike swoosh under his left eye, said to be in memory of Nike Colon, a Haverhill man who was shot to death in May 2018 in what police called a gang-related killing. The word "Certified" was tattooed above his right eyebrow along with the image of a crown, and what appeared to be a heart on his right cheekbone. Trongeau was handcuffed, with his hands behind his back.
Trongeau next appears in court for a probable cause hearing on Dec. 29.
At the time of the fatal stabbing, Trongeau, who turns 20 on Dec. 4, was on probation, court records show. No mention of that case, in which Trongeau pleaded guilty to firing a bullet into a home in Haverhill nearly a year ago, was made during last week's hearing. As a condition of his probation in that case, Trongeau was ordered not to possess guns or to reoffend. If he did, he could be sent back to jail for 18 months.
Trongeau was represented by Michael Phelan, who was appointed by the Committee for Public Council Service in Boston because he is qualified to represent defendants charged with murder.
Kimball said her office plans to present the case to a grand jury for possible indictment. If Trongeau is indicted, his case would move to superior court, which has jurisdiction over murder cases and where the potential for punishment is greater than at the district court level.
Trongeau was arrested two days after police say he stabbed Vasquez to death at 10 Marble St., where Vasquez lived, in Haverhill's inner-city Mount Washington neighborhood. According to the Haverhill police log, police, firefighters and paramedics responded Nov. 21 at 9:53 p.m. to that address for a 911 call reporting an assault with a dangerous weapon.
Police said Vasquez, a known gang member, was found suffering from stab wounds.
Vasquez was taken to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Investigators said they believe the stabbing was not a random act and that there was no threat to the public.