The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld a former Roxbury man’s voluntary manslaughter conviction in the 2007 shooting death of a 22-year-old woman who was caught in a crossfire between gang rivals on a Dorchester street, authorities said.
Casimiro Barros, 26, argued that evidence of his gang affiliation and the group’s ongoing feud with the gang of his intended target was prejudicial, but the appeals court found that those details were vital to the jury’s understanding of the case, prosecutors said.
Authorities said that Barros fatally shot Chiara Levin, 22, on March 24, 2007 as she sat in a vehicle on Geneva Avenue, but he was aiming for gang rival Manuel “Spank” Andrade, now 39, who had shot Barros’s friend in the chest moments earlier.
“The trial prosecutor did an outstanding job of introducing gang evidence without unfairly prejudicing the defendant,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement.
The appeals court also rejected Barros’s argument that a prosecutor made improper remarks during closing arguments, the statement said.
In addition to voluntary manslaughter, Barros was convicted of weapons charges at his trial in 2008 and sentenced to 27 and 1/2 to 30 years in prison.
Andrade was convicted during a separate trial of several charges including first-degree murder for participating in the gunfight that led to Levin’s death. The man that he shot survived his injuries.
Andrade received a sentence of life without the chance for parole, plus an additional 30 years in prison, Conley’s office said. An appeal of his conviction is pending with the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.