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Over 60 offenders could have sentences altered

Antonio Fernandez is serving a life sentence at MCI-Norfolk for a Brookline murder in 2002.

Bill Greene/Globe staff/File 2011

Antonio Fernandez is serving a life sentence at MCI-Norfolk for a Brookline murder in 2002.

According to the state Department of Correction, 63 people in Massachusetts were convicted as juveniles of first-degree murder and are now serving mandatory life sentences without parole.

Listed are a sampling of offenders who could have their sentences altered.

Kentell Weaver, 16, guilty in the first-degree murder of Germaine Rucker, 15.

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Weaver and a group of friends, all from the Dudley Street neighborhood, approached Rucker, 15, on Aug. 10, 2003, knocked him off his bicycle, and began beating him. One of the assailants grabbed his backpack and Weaver, who was 16 at the time, shot Rucker in the back and head. Weaver was sentenced in May 2006.

Charon Ray, 17, guilty in the first-degree murder of Da-Keem Galloway, 14.

When Ray was 16, he had a series of altercations with Galloway, 14, in the days before June 10, 2004. On that day, near Hazelwood Court in Roxbury, Ray fired five to six shots from a semiautomatic weapon into a group that included Galloway and his friends, striking Galloway in the back of the head. Ray, of Mattapan, was sentenced to life without parole in June 2007.

Xzeniyeju Chukwuezi, 17, guilty in the first-degree murder of Soheil Turner, 15.

Witnesses put Xzeniyeju Chukwuezi near the crime scene.

ARAM BOGHOSIAN FOR THE GLOBE

Witnesses put Xzeniyeju Chukwuezi near the crime scene.

Turner, 15, was waiting for his school bus around 7 a.m., May 7, 2009, at the corner of Adams and Dudley streets. Chukwuezi approached Turner, talked to him briefly, then suddenly pulled a handgun from his pocket and shot Turner in the head. Surveillance cameras from two buildings captured the shooting, and witnesses said they saw Chukwuezi near the crime scene, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said. Chukwuezi was sentenced in October 2010.

Joshua Fernandes, 16, guilty in the first-degree murder of Nicholas Fomby-Davis, 14.

Joshua Fernandes was sentenced in June.

BILL GREENE/GLOBE STAFF/FILE 2012

Joshua Fernandes was sentenced in June.

Fomby-Davis, 14, had been riding on the back of his brother’s scooter in Dorchester on May 30, 2010, when they nearly collided with Fernandes and Crisostomo Lopes, who was 20. Moments later, Fomby-Davis, wearing his brother’s helmet, took a ride on the scooter alone. Fernandes and Lopes pulled Fomby-Davis from the scooter and Fernandes shot him in the chest and leg. Fernandes, who was 16 when he shot Fomby-Davis, was sentenced in June.

Laquan Miller, 17, guilty in the first-degree murder of Wilfredo Martinez, 23.

Miller was convicted and sentenced this summer for gunning down and killing Martinez, a 23-year-old cook, on the steps of an apartment building in Roslindale’s Archdale Village public housing development, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office. Miller, who was a student at the South Boston Education Complex, also injured Martinez’s friend Kareem Dowling during the June 5, 2011, shooting, Wark said. “It happened so quick,’’ Lloyd Dowling told The Boston Globe in 2011 about the assault, which his son later described to him.

Ricardo Arias, 17, guilty in the first-degree murder of Alex Sierra, 18.

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Arias shot Sierra several times on Sept. 3, 2011, after Sierra confirmed that he lived in the Villa Victoria housing project in the South End, a location that is affiliated with a gang that rivaled Arias’ Mission Hill-based group. Prosecutors said Sierra had no affiliation with either gang or their feud. He died of his injuries later at Boston Medical Center. Arias was in the custody of the Department of Youth Services at the time, but had gotten a day pass to go see a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, which he left early to meet 16-year-old Antonio Saez and travel to Villa Victoria together. Arias was sentenced to life in prison in July 2013.

Nyasani Watt, 17, guilty in the first-degree murder of Jaivon Blake, 16.

Watt was 10 days shy of his 18th birthday when he gunned down Blake and his 14-year-old friend on Geneva Avenue on Sept. 25, 2011. Watt and 18-year-old Sheldon Mattis, who helped Watt conceal the .40-caliber pistol used in the murder, were part of a gang bent on killing rivals. The pair had targeted Blake and his friend because the friend told Mattis in a casual conversation outside a Walgreens that he lived on Everton Street, which Watt and Mattis considered enemy territory. Watt and Mattis were both sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.

Donnie Bouphavongsa, 16, guilty in the first-degree murder of Joshua Molina, 17.

Donnie Bouphavongsa was convicted in a 1997 killing.

LOWELL SUN

Donnie Bouphavongsa was convicted in a 1997 killing.

Bouphavongsa was one of six teenagers who beat Molina to death with hammers and shovels in what police deemed a gang-related killing on Nov. 20, 1997. Molina was walking with two friends on Bridge Street in downtown Lowell around 10 p.m. when he was jumped by the gang, with whom he had a run-in two years earlier.

Antonio Fernandez, 16, guilty of first-degree murder of Perry Hughes, 19.

Fernandez shot Hughes in the chest during a dispute at a high school graduation party in Brookline on June 20, 2002. Fernandez fled after the crime but was arrested days later in New York City.

John Odgren, 16, guilty of first-degree murder of James F. Alenson, 15.

John Odgren’s Asperger’s was cited by his attorney.

KEN MCGAGH/POOL/FILE 2010

John Odgren’s Asperger’s was cited by his attorney.

Odgren, a special needs student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, was convicted of stabbing a fellow student, James F. Alenson, in the school bathroom on Jan. 19, 2007. His defense attorney argued insanity, citing Odgren’s Asperger syndrome.

Edward S. O’Brien, 15, guilty of first-degree murder of Janet Downing.

O’Brien, a Somerville resident who murdered neighbor Janet Downing in 1995, stabbing her dozens of times, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. But the gruesome details of the killing lent impetus to the passage of the 1996 law aimed at cracking down on juvenile “super predators” requiring them to be tried in adult court.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss

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