GROVELAND, MASS. (WHDH) - A 48-year-old Haverhill man accused of beating an 82-year-old Groveland resident to death with a lamp last week was ordered held without bail.
Leedell Graham was arraigned Friday in Haverhill District Court on a charge of murder in connection with the “shocking and brutal” death of Patsy Schena.
Officers responding to a report of an unresponsive man at 20 Governors Road found Schena suffering from multiple blunt and sharp force trauma wounds and pronounced him dead at the scene, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Groveland Polic Chief Jeff Gillen.
Prosecutors say, Graham, who was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Thursday on Cedar Street, pummeled Schena with a lamp before fleeing the scene.
In a statement, Blodgett called Schena’s death “a shocking and brutal crime.”
“We are relieved to have this individual in custody, however, there is much work still to be done on this investigation,” Blodgett said. “For that reason, I am unable to discuss the details of this investigation at this time. My goal is justice for Mr. Schena through a successful prosecution. I am tremendously grateful to the investigative team for their tireless work thus far.”
Gillen noted that Schena was the town’s building inspector for many years and this was the town’s first murder since 1992.
“Schena was the building inspector here in Groveland from 1979 to 2015,” Gillen said. “He was well-known and he was a gentleman. He was very well-liked by everyone that met him.”
Graham had some “private enterprise dealings” with Schena that were separate from town relations, according to Blodgett.
When asked, Blodgett would not comment on whether Graham has a criminal history.
In a statement, Schema’s family thanked law enforcement for their work.
“We appreciate the hard work and diligence of the Essex County DA’s Office, the Essex State Police detective Unit, the Groveland Police Department and the Haverhill Police department,” the statement reads. “We are especially grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. We request privacy from the media at this time as we lay our beloved father, and grandfather, to rest.”
The motive for the murder is under investigation.
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