“The facts establish knowledge, malice and considerable intentional conduct,” the board wrote in a unanimous decision.
Cunha was a part-time manager and Marconi a waitress at the bar, which was on the corner of Central and Walnut streets. Chavez was a regular there. A friend of Chavez, Wilson DaSilva, got into an argument and then a fight with Cunha outside after closing.
A crowd had gathered to watch, and eventually, DaSilva fled. That’s when Chavez suddenly drove into the crowd, directly toward Cunha and Marconi.
It was only as opening statements were about to begin in Newburyport Superior Court the following November that Chavez admitted what he had done, pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
His attorney at the time told Judge Barbara Rouse that Chavez had expressed remorse and said, “He is truly sorry for what occurred.”
But 15 years later, during his parole hearing, the Parole Board disagreed.
“Based on the evidence and convictions, the Parole Board cannot accept Chavez’s testimony that he did not know he struck the victims,” the decision said. “His untruthful testimony, which minimizes his responsibility, is a sign that he is neither remorseful nor rehabilitated.”
The board said Chavez cannot again seek parole for at least five years and recommended that before he comes back before them, he should address issues of “honesty, remorse and victim empathy.”
If he is ever paroled, Chavez will face deportation.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.