Delivery driver charged with killing runner pleads guilty

Oct 26, 2022, 11:46 AM | Updated: 1:35 pm
FILE - This undated driver license photo released by the Worcester County District Attorney's Offic...

FILE - This undated driver license photo released by the Worcester County District Attorney's Office shows Vanessa Marcotte. A delivery driver charged with killing a Google employee from New York who went missing while out for a run near her mother's Massachusetts home six years ago pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. (Worcester County District Attorney's Office via AP, File)

(Worcester County District Attorney's Office via AP, File)

A delivery driver charged with killing a Google employee from New York who went missing while out for a run near her mother’s Massachusetts home six years ago pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday.

Angelo Colon-Ortiz’s plea in the Aug. 7, 2016, death of Vanessa Marcotte, 27, came just days after the death of the victim’s father, John Marcotte, 71.

“Regardless of the medical reason stated on his death certificate, he died of a broken heart caused by deep and endless grief,” Vanessa’s mother, Rossana Marcotte, said in an impact statement she read in court.

Colon-Ortiz’s attorney, Eduardo Masferrer, said in court that his client is remorseful.

Colon-Ortiz had originally pleaded not guilty in the death of Marcotte, whose body was found in a wooded area about a half-mile from her mother’s house in the small town of Princeton, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Boston.

Under an agreement that also included a guilty plea to a charge of unarmed robbery, the 36-year-old Colon-Ortiz will not be eligible for parole for 45 years, according to the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.

“We know nothing can bring Vanessa back, but we know, through the meticulous work of the prosecutors and investigators involved, justice will be served, and the plea allows Vanessa’s family to move on from this tragedy,” Early said in a statement.

The Marcotte family agreed to the deal to spare themselves the ordeal of a trial, prosecutors said.

“We are thankful and gratified the legal process has accomplished what we always wished for, that this man will now be in a place where he can’t hurt anyone else like the way he hurt Vanessa,” Marcotte’s family said in a statement released by the district attorney’s office.

Rossana Marcotte said the death of her only child has robbed her of a lifetime of milestone moments.

“The brutal and evil actions of the defendant will have an everlasting effect on my life,” she said. “I will never be able to experience Vanessa’s future achievements in her career or personal life. I will never see her in her wedding gown. I will never have the pleasure of being a devoted grandmother to her children. And as I age, I will never be comforted or cared for by Vanessa.”

Vanessa Marcotte, who worked as an account manager for Google, was visiting family in Massachusetts and had gone out for a run several hours before she was found.

She was found partially clothed with burn marks on her body, and an autopsy determined that she had been strangled during a struggle, prosecutors said. No motive was discussed in court.

Colon-Ortiz, who lived in nearby Worcester, worked as a delivery driver at the time of the killing and was familiar with Princeton and the surrounding area, prosecutors have said.

They said Colon-Ortiz’s DNA matched DNA found underneath Marcotte’s fingernails. He was arrested in April 2017 and has been held without bail since pleading not guilty in July 2017 to charges including attempted rape, which was not included in the deal announced Wednesday.

Colon-Ortiz’s lawyers asked a judge earlier this year to dismiss as evidence the DNA samples collected by state police in March 2017. They argued the samples were obtained illegally because the authorities didn’t have a warrant, didn’t send a trooper with adequate Spanish skills to help translate, and a did not properly translate a consent form explaining Colon-Ortiz’s rights. The judge denied the motion.

Marcotte graduated from Boston University in 2011, according to her obituary, which said she landed her “dream job” at Google in 2015 after working for Wordstream and Vistaprint.

She enjoyed spending summers on Cape Cod, hiking, yoga, skiing and running, and participated in the Falmouth Road Race several times, the obituary said. She was also a volunteer tutor in Massachusetts and New York City.

“Vanessa embodied everything that is good in a human being,” the obituary read. “She was kind, compassionate, bright, curious, charming, and vivacious. She was blessed with beauty, grace, a generous spirit, and a loving heart.”

Marcotte’s legacy lives on in the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation, established in 2017 by friends and family to train women in self-defense, and educate them on violence prevention, runner safety, boundary setting and healthy relationships.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Stowaways found on a ship’s rudder in Spain’s Canary Islands

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says it has rescued three stowaways traveling on a ship’s rudder in the Canary Islands after the vessel sailed there from Nigeria. The men, found on the Alithini II oil tanker at the Las Palmas port, appeared to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and were transferred […]
3 hours ago
FILE - Mike Moscrop, left, from Orange County, Calif., poses with Amir Sieidoust, an Iranian suppor...
Associated Press

Iran-US World Cup clash rife with political tension

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The last World Cup clash between the United States and Iran 24 years ago is considered one of the most politically charged matches in soccer history. This time, the political overtones are just as strong and relations perhaps even more fraught as the U.S. and Iran face off once again on […]
3 hours ago
Associated Press

Qatar to supply liquefied natural gas to Germany from 2026

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar is to supply liquefied natural gas to Germany under a 15-year deal signed Tuesday as the European economic powerhouse scrambles to replace Russian gas supplies that have been cut during the ongoing war in Ukraine. Officials gave no dollar value for the deal, which would begin in 2026. Under the […]
3 hours ago
FILE - Pakistan army Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir attends a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 1, 20...
Associated Press

Pakistan’s new army chief takes charge of military

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s new military chief took command of the country’s armed forces on Tuesday amid a deepening political rift between the government and the popular opposition leader, as well as a renewed threat from a key militant group that has been behind scores of deadly attacks over 15 years. The army has historically […]
3 hours ago
A boy kisses a dog while he charges his phone at the heating tent "Point of Invincibly" in Bucha, U...
Associated Press

Ukraine’s ‘Invincibility’ centers offer refuge, resilience

BUCHA, Ukraine (AP) — Retired Ukrainian construction worker Borys Markovnikov is on the move again: This time, just a few steps from his home in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, to seek shelter and warmth at a “Point of Invincibility” — a government-built help station that serves food, drinks, warmth and ultimately, resilience, […]
3 hours ago
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures during joint statements with Romanian President Kl...
Associated Press

NATO ministers meet to drum up more aid, arms for Ukraine

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his NATO counterparts are gathering in Romania on Tuesday to drum up urgently needed support for Ukraine, including deliveries of electrical components for the war-torn country’s devastated power transmission network. Ukraine’s grid has been battered countrywide since early October by targeted Russian strikes, in […]
3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Delivery driver charged with killing runner pleads guilty