Thursday, 4:30 PM
Man convicted of home invasion, but acquitted of murder
By David Abel, Globe Staff
A Suffolk jury today convicted a 25-year-old former star football player from Peabody Memorial High of armed home invasion, but it acquitted him of murder and other charges in connection with the fatal shooting two years ago at the Courtyard Marriott in Revere, prosecutors said.
Adonis Espinal had been charged with shooting to death 21-year-old Bernard Ortolan, who died when Espinal and two other men burst into his hotel room and one of them opened fire, prosecutors said.
After about a day of deliberations, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Espinal of armed home invasion, which at the time of the shooting carried a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in state prison and a maximum of 20 years.
Espinal is to be sentenced on Nov. 10. An attorney representing Espinal could not be reached.
Witness testimony and corroborating physical evidence introduced at trial suggested that Espinal planned to rob a drug dealer who was staying at the hotel and had drugs and cash in his room, prosecutors said.
Wearing bandanas and waving guns, Espinal and two other men forced their way into the room, where they encountered the intended target and several others, including Ortolan, prosecutors said. Ortolan died after being shot in the chest.
Espinal’s co-defendants –- John Lendall, of Peabody, and Michael Appleton, of Lynn – were present in the hotel room during the shooting. They pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other charges before trial.