Man accused of murdering Weymouth officer and bystander held without bail
QUINCY — In a courtroom packed with police officers, the man accused of fatally shooting a Weymouth police officer and an elderly bystander was ordered held without bail Tuesday.
Emanuel A. Lopes, 20, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a hospital gown, was charged in Quincy District Court with the murders of officer Michael C. Chesna, 42, and Vera Adams, 77.
A court clinician who examined Lopes said he was coherent and seemed to understand the charges against him. But Lopes’s court-appointed lawyer, Larry R. Tipton, asked Judge Mark Coven to send his client to Bridgewater State Hospital for further mental evaluation.
“I have been unable to speak with him in any coherent fashion regarding anything about the case,” Tipton said. “He has a long and detailed history of psychiatric disorders.”
Coven ruled that the clinician’s determination was sufficient evidence that Lopes was aware of what was happening. Lopes pleaded not guilty and was sent to the Dedham House of Correction. He is due back in court Aug. 15.
According to police reports filed in court Monday, the fatal encounter began around 7:30 Sunday morning when Lopes drove a BMW belonging to his girlfriend’s mother into a parked car near South Shore Hospital, then ran away, leaving the damaged car behind.
Chesna, a decorated Army veteran whose shift was set to end at 8 a.m., was sent to investigate and tracked Lopes down to nearby Burton Terrace, where he was throwing rocks through the window of a home, police said. Chesna got out of his marked cruiser and pulled out his gun, but was knocked to the ground after Lopes threw a rock at his head from 10 to 12 feet away, police said.
In court, Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Greg P. Connor described the rock as “half the size of a basketball or soccer ball.”
Chesna’s gun fell to the ground. Lopes picked it up and fired five times near Chesna’s head and another five rounds near his torso and legs, according to police. In all, 13 spent shell casings were found in the area, Connor said.
Weymouth police Officer Sean Murphy arrived and saw Lopes standing over his colleague. He fired at least one round through the cruiser windshield, hitting Lopes in the foot, Connor said.
Lopes ran off, and while being chased by Murphy climbed over a fence into the backyard of Adams’s Torrey Street home, Connor said. He then fired three shots into a sliding glass window, striking Adams at least twice, he said.
Chesna’s gun had been loaded with 16 bullets. When Lopes was captured, the gun was empty, Connor said.
None of Chesna’s immediate family attended the arraignment, but more than 60 uniformed officers filled the courtroom benches, mostly from the Weymouth department. The Weymouth officers arrived by bus around 12:30 p.m. and waited for more than an hour until court was in recess before filing into the room. The officers waited in silence for more than 30 minutes before the hearing began.
Lopes has been treated for his wound at South Shore Hospital since Sunday and was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair. In the back of the crowd, some observers muttered angry expletives as he entered.
Lopes showed no visible emotion during the brief proceeding.
Chesna, the married father of a boy and a girl, was posthumously promoted to sergeant Monday night by Weymouth Police Chief Richard C. Grimes, at a candlelight vigil at Weymouth High School on Monday.
“We will hold Sergeant Michael C. Chesna forever in our hearts,’’ Grimes said.
Chesna will be buried later this week from St. Mary’s Church in Hanover. A wake will be held on Thursday at the church from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m., according to his obituary.
Vera Adams was remembered by family and friends as a quiet, private person who loved to read, especially mysteries and crime stories. Adams had worked at an insurance company and retired several years ago.