Woburn, MA — February 19, 2009 — A jury has convicted a Freedom, New Hampshire man man on two counts in the 2006 slayings of his ex-lover’s husband and another man at a Wakefield business, according to the Associated Press. A mistrial was declared during Fitzpatrick’s first trial in August after that jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked. The following release is from the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office:
Woburn, MA — February 19, 2009 — A Freedom, New Hampshire man has been found guilty of two counts of first degree murder by a Middlesex Superior Court jury for the murders of Michael Zammitti, Jr. and Chester Roberts, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.
Sean Fitzpatrick was found guilty of murder in the first degree (2 counts) and illegal possession of a shotgun in connection with the deaths of Zammitti, age 39, and Roberts, age 54, both of Wakefield.
Sentencing will be held on Monday, February 23, in Courtroom 640 before Judge Kathe Tuttman in Woburn Superior Court, 200 Tradecenter, Woburn. First degree murder convictions carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without eligibility for parole.
“We are thankful to the jury for returning a just verdict on behalf of Michael Zammitti, Jr. and Chester Roberts,” District Attorney Leone said. “Sean Fitzpatrick – in a cold-blooded and reprehensible act – took the life of the man who stood in the way of what he wanted. He then cowardly eliminated the only eyewitness, Chester Roberts, by shooting him in the back.
“I want to thank the members of our trial team, as well as the Massachusetts State Police and Wakefield Police, for their outstanding work over the course of nearly three years and two trials,” Leone added. “I also want to particularly say how honored we were to represent the families of both Michael Zammitti, Jr., and Chester Roberts. They have had to live through a long, difficult legal process and they have handled it with grace and dignity.”
According to authorities, just after 8:00 a.m., on Monday, March 13, 2006, Wakefield Police responded to a 911 call from an individual at Allstate Concrete Pumping, located at 17 New Salem Street, reporting an unconscious male. Upon arrival at the scene, police discovered the body of Roberts on the first floor of the building, and that of Zammitti in a second floor office. They were both pronounced dead at the scene. Zammitti was the owner of Allstate Concrete Pumping, and Roberts was a longtime employee of the company.
Wakefield Police contacted State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and together they initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths. Authorities were able to determine that the shooting occurred sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. on March 13, 2006.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (ME) completed autopsies on both victims on March 14, 2006. The ME found the cause of death for Zammitti to be a gunshot wound to the head, and the cause of death for Roberts to be a gunshot wound to the back. The ME ruled both deaths homicides.
After an exhaustive three-month investigation, it was revealed that Fitzpatrick drove to Wakefield from New Hampshire on March 13 and shot the two victims. Fitzpatrick was a friend and neighbor of the Zammitti family, who owned a summer home in New Hampshire and was interested in pursuing a relationship with Zammitti’s wife, Michelle.
New Hampshire State Police arrested Fitzpatrick without incident at his place of employment in Madison, NH, at approximately 12:00 p.m. on June 6, 2006. He was arraigned as a fugitive from justice later that afternoon in the Northern District Court of Carroll County in North Conway, NH. At that time, Fitzpatrick declined to waive rendition, and was held pending a probable cause hearing scheduled for June 20, 2006. When brought into court for that hearing on June 20, Fitzpatrick waived rendition.
State Police and Wakefield Police transported Fitzpatrick back to Massachusetts later that afternoon. He was booked and held overnight at the Wakefield Police Department. Fitzpatrick was arraigned on June 21, 2006, in Cambridge District Court before Judge Michele Hogan. At arraignment, he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail. On August 17, 2006, the Grand Jury returned indictments against Fitzpatrick. On September 7, 2006, Fitzpatrick was arraigned on the superior court charges in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge before Judge Nancy Staffier Holtz. At arraignment he entered a plea of not guilty, and was ordered held without bail.
Fitzpatrick was first tried on these charges in July 2008. Opening statements began on July 31 and a mistrial was declared after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on August 28, 2008.
The trial that led to today’s conviction began in January 2009. Opening statements began on January 23 and closing arguments were given on February 9. The jury began deliberations on February 10 at approximately 10:30 a.m.
The prosecution team was led by Assistant District Attorney Dan Bennett and Deputy District Attorney Denise Casper, along with paralegal Jen Bills, and victim witness advocate Lesia Schymonowytsch.