Mass. High Court Reduces Conviction in Slaying of Army Veteran

Peter Castillo of Salem was convicted of fatally shooting Stephen Perez of Revere in 2016

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The highest court in Massachusetts has reduced the first-degree murder conviction of a man found guilty of killing an Army veteran during a fight in Boston's Theater District in 2012 to second-degree murder in a decision that redefines "extreme atrocity or cruelty" in murder cases.

Peter Castillo, 32, of Salem, was convicted in 2016 of shooting Iraq War veteran Stephen Perez, 22, of Revere, once in the back.

In the decision released Tuesday and written by Chief Justice Ralph Gants before his death, the Supreme Judicial Court said in the future prosecutors will have to show more than just that a victim suffered greatly to prove extreme atrocity or cruelty.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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