Man charged with murder following deadly attack aboard fishing vessel at sea

The man used a hammer and a knife in the attack, authorities said.

The Virginia-based fishing vessel Captain Billy Haver is docked, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, in Boston. The U.S. attorney's office for Boston said in a statement that crew member Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, was charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with an attack Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 on the fishing vessel while it was underway about 55 miles off Nantucket, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
The Virginia-based fishing vessel Captain Billy Haver is docked, Tuesday at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Boston. –Steven Senne / AP

A man accused of killing a fellow crew member aboard a fishing vessel and attacking two others is being charged with murder, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, allegedly attacked his fellow mariners with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other while aboard the Virginia-based Captain Billy Haver about 55 miles out to sea from the Massachusetts shore on Sunday, the U.S. Attorney’s office of Massachusetts said in a news release.

He is charged with murder and attempted murder, both “within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” according to the release. 

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This isn’t Vazquez’s first time dealing with law enforcement. On March 8, he was arrested and charged with abduction by force, intimidation, or deception in Newport News, Virginia. He was released on bond, federal authorities said.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez. —Newport News, VA Police

Vazquez was living in the country undocumented and is originally from Mexico, according to the release. There were seven crew members aboard the fishing vessel at the time the incident occurred, authorities said.

Vazquez allegedly assaulted one of the crew members with the weapons. That person then noticed another mariner already lying on the deck and bleeding.

Vazquez then allegedly “struck” another member of the crew.

When the others tried to catch him, he climbed the ship’s mast, according to authorities.

A nearby German cruise ship responded to a distress call from the fishing vessel’s captain, authorities said. The cruise ship’s doctor took two of the wounded aboard and one was pronounced dead.

The U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the vessel, and Vazquez was taken into custody. He will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.

Since Vazquez isn’t a citizen, he could be deported after he completes any sentence he could potentially receive, authorities said.

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Back when Vazquez was arrested for abduction, local police released him to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Associated Press reports.

An immigration judge allowed Vazquez bond, despite ICE objections, and he was released, an ICE spokesman told the news service.

“ICE is closely monitoring his case to determine next steps to ensure he no longer poses a public safety threat,” the agency said in a statement reported by the AP.