NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 10, 2012

La Guira 'revenge' double murder trial opens today

(Continued)

La Guira owner Richard Nunez, who has close personal connections to Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua, may also be called to testify.

La Guira was shut down by police last month after its liquor license was revoked by the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. The ABCC, in a decision, rapped Nunez and his bouncers for doing nothing to help patrons after Saint Clair allegedly fled. Workers also locked out police and rescue workers while the dead and wounded lay on the floor inside La Guira, according to the ABCC decision.

The night of the shooting, after Saint Clair walked into La Guira and opened fire, he jumped into a getaway car and fled. Two people in the car bailed during the chase and were never captured.

Saint Clair has been held without bail at Middleton Jail since he was tackled by a state trooper and a Lowell police officer off Interstate 495 near the Lowell-Tewksbury line, ending the police chase that night.

Another man, Fernando Gurrerro-Lara, was arrested in connection with the La Guira murders and held for several months. Charges were later dropped against him, but Guerrero-Lara was turned over to federal authorities and later deported to the Dominican Republic.

According to a federal affadavit released last month, the La Guira shooting was in retailation for an earlier robbery of Saint Clair. Two of the shooting victims were associated of Danny Veloz, 37, a Lawrence man who was the ringleader of a kidnapping gang called the Veloz crew, according to the affadavit by John Orlando, a special agent with the FBI.

Veloz and his gang of at least nine men would rob and kidnap people, mostly drug dealers, beat them, torture them with hot irons and hold them for ransoms in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to court documents. On Sept. 28, Veloz and other gang members were charged with federal kidnapping and firearms charges.

After Suazo-Soto was killed at La Guira, police found a backpack in his gray BMW X5 parked outside. Inside the backpack was a ski mask, gloves, flex cuffs, an electric stun gun, GPS tracking device, a laptop computer and an electric iron, according to federal court papers.

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