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Newton North Grad Pleads Guilty In Waltham Murder Case

The defendant helped kill Adam Coveney of Waltham.

A Newton man pleaded guilty on Dec. 20 to manslaughter in the murder of a Waltham man in 2010, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.

Benjamin Peirce, 19, of Newton, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm, according to the DA's office. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman, during a change of plea hearing, sentenced Peirce to 17 - 20 years in state prison for the manslaughter charge and 4-to-5 years for the firearm charge. The prison terms will run concurrently. He was also sentenced to 10 years of probation to be served after he is released from prison. 

 “This defendant, frustrated after a failed robbery attempt, decided to conspire with three others to rob the victim, who was shot and killed by another during the commission of the robbery,” said Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone in a statement.  “The defendant showed a complete disregard for another person’s life in committing this act of senseless violence.  Our thoughts remain with Adam’s family and loved ones.”

Prior to Dec. 20, Peirce had been scheduled to go to trial.

Two other defendants have already been sentenced for their roles in the crimes.  In October, Shaquan Jacobs was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for his part in the murder. 

A fourth defendant, Wallace Duarte, 20, of Waltham, is facing charges for being an accessory after the fact to murder. His next court date has not yet been scheduled. 

Coveney Targeted For Robbery

The case began in September of 2010 when the trio met Coveney to buy drugs from him, according to the DA's office. 

The three men, along with a fourth person, travelled from Boston with a firearm to rob a Newton North High School student whom they knew well. The four men allegedly tried to break in into the student's home, but failed.

Afterwards, Peirce started planning a second robbery by arranging to meet Coveney in Waltham and to buy drugs from him, according to the DA's office. Peirce bought masks, gloves and bleach to use in the robbery. The three defendants then went to Boston to meet Louis to get a gun.

Peirce, Jacobs and Louis then met Coveney in Waltham to buy drugs from him, but during the encounter, Louis and Jacobs attacked Coveney from a hiding spot. Louis shot him. 

Before fleeing, Louis laughed about shooting Coveney while Peirce picked up the drugs as Coveney laid dying. The trio then jumped in a car, driven by Duarte, and fled the scene. 

Peirce was arrested on Oct. 1, while Duarte, Jacobs and Louis were taken into custoday later that day.

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