Four men sentenced to life in prison for the 2019 murder of Gabriel Irizarry

May 24, 2023 -Springfield- Luis Cotto, Keith Cotto, Isaiah Fraticelli, all of Springfield, and Victor Espinosa, of Chicopee, were sentenced to life in prison today after a Hampden County Jury convicted them of murder in the first degree on May 19, 2023. All four defendants were also convicted on lesser charges of, Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of a Loaded Firearm. All were sentenced to four to five years and 2 ½ years respectively on those charges, those sentences are to run concurrently with the life without parole sentence.

On Sunday, November 3, 2019 the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit was alerted to as shooting having just occurred on Interstate 91 North in Springfield in which the victim was not expected to survive. The shooting was witnessed and called in by an active on-duty Massachusetts State Police Trooper on patrol.

The victim, Mr. Gabriel Irizarry, of Holyoke, was shot at from the defendants’ vehicle while he was operating his vehicle on Interstate 91 around 1:00 a.m. on November 3, 2019. His vehicle was mistakenly identified by the defendants as belonging to someone else they were targeting.   

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni stated, “ Gabriel Irizarry’s family has suffered an immense and senseless tragedy, which can never be healed. I am appreciative of all the tireless work by investigators and my prosecutors in bringing a some justice to Mr. Irizarry’s family. I thank the detectives from the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to my office along with Assistant District Attorney Katharine Johnston, for their work on this case in order to achieve a just verdict.”

Assistant District Attorney Katharine Johnston successfully represented the Commonwealth in this case, along with Assistant District Attorney Anna Lusardi sitting second chair, and Assistant District Attorney Joseph Coliflores as appellate counsel. Damaris Ramirez, Victim Witness Advocate, assisted the family during the court process. Detectives with the Springfield Police Department assisted in the investigation.


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