Erick Buchanon guilty of first degree murder; sentenced to life in prison

June 17, 2022 -Springfield- On June 14, 2022Erick Buchanon, 53, of Springfield, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, after a Hampden County Superior Court Jury found him guilty of first degree murder, in the 2015 stabbing death of Ms. Salina Merritt.

On March 11, 2015, the Springfield Police Department responded to the 50 block of Fairfield Street for a reported stabbing. When officers arrived, they found one of the victims suffering from stab wounds. She was able to communicate with officers and indicted there was another victim inside a nearby residence in the vicinity of the 300 block of Belmont Avenue, as well as, providing an identification on the suspect. Once EMS personnel arrived they took over her medical care and rushed her to the hospital. This victim was a female, 27, from Springfield.  

Officers then proceeded to located the second victim. She was discovered inside the residence on Belmont Avenue and suffering from numerous stab wounds. Due to the severity of her injuries, she was pronounced deceased on scene. The victim was later identified as Ms. Salina Merritt, 29, of Springfield.

While in route to Belmont Avenue, officers received another report of a third stabbing victim in the vicinity of the 60 block of Belmont Avenue. Officers responded and discovered a male, 29 years old, from Springfield, suffering from stab wounds.  

The male victim stated to officers, that he and the other two victims were at the residence on Belmont Avenue with Erick Buchanon, when an argument occurred and then became physical, with Erick as the aggressor. This led to Erick Buchanon pulling out a knife and he began stabbing all three victims. Two the victims were able to escape by jumping out a window. Tragically Ms. Merritt was unable to escape and was fatally attacked by the defendant.  

Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “We remain sorrowful over Ms. Merritt’s death; however we are thankful that justice was served. I am also grateful and proud of the work that our team did, in conjunction with the investigators of the Springfield Police Department. Specifically, I thank Assistant District Attorney Paul Caccaviello, who led our team, and assistant district attorneys Kelsey Baran and Joseph Coliflores. I also thank and commend Victim Witness Advocate Tina Simmons, for her outstanding work with the victim’s family and the living victims over the many years over which this case stretched.”

Erick Buchanon was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by a Hampden Superior Court Judge on June 14, 2022. He was found guilty on five different counts: first degree murder, assault to murder (two counts), and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts).

Assistant District Attorney Paul Caccaviello, Assistant District Attorney Kelsey Baran, and appellate ADA Joseph Coliflores successfully represented the Commonwealth in this case.

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