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Widow of slain Weymouth police sergeant weeps, cries out in courtroom at shooting suspect

On Sept. 7, a grand jury indicted Emanuel Lopes for the deaths of police Sergeant Michael Chesna and of 77-year-old Vera Adams, who was fatally shot while standing in her sunporch on the morning of July 15.Greg Derr/The Quincy Patriot Ledger via Associated Press/File 2018

DEDHAM — The widow of police Sergeant Michael Chesna wept continuously in court Thursday and used obscenities as the man accused of fatally shooting her husband in July was arraigned and ordered held without bail.

As Emanuel Lopes was escorted from a Norfolk Superior courtroom in an orange jumpsuit, Cynthia Chesna called him several expletives before breaking into a loud sob.

“He is an evil person for what he did to my husband,” Cynthia Chesna told a crowd of officers who escorted her from the courtroom.

Three rows of Weymouth police officers sat stone-faced to one side of the courtroom.

On Sept. 7, a grand jury indicted Lopes for the deaths of Chesna and of 77-year-old Vera Adams, who was fatally shot while standing in her sunporch on the morning of July 15.


Lopes, a Weymouth resident who was then 20, had crashed a car that morning, then allegedly shot Chesna after the police officer was called to the scene to investigate. Lopes threw a rock at Chesna, knocking him down, then shot the officer multiple times with Chesna’s own gun. He then allegedly fired shots into Adams’s house, killing her, according to police.

Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor said the events leading up to the shootings began around 7 a.m. that day, after Lopes left his girlfriend’s house in her white BMW.

“[Lopes’s girlfriend] saw that her car was missing and she sent him a series of texts saying she was going to call the police for stealing her car,” Connor said.

About a half-hour later, Lopes’s girlfriend reported the car stolen and Weymouth officers saw it backtracking toward her house in excess of 80 miles per hour, Connor said.

Lopes lost control of the BMW near the intersection of Main and Columbian streets in Weymouth and collided with another car.


“He then exited the vehicle and knocked on the window of the other vehicle, and apologized, and was seen running away towards the hospital,” Connor said. “It was determined that he headed towards Burton Terrace.”

Around 7:45 a.m., a Burton Terrace resident called police to report a rock, “half the size of a soccer ball,” crashing through his kitchen window, Connor said.

Chesna, who was among several officers who responded to the scene, withdrew his gun and told Lopes to put the rock down, but he didn’t comply.

“The defendant [walked] briskly away with the rock over his head and [threw] the rock in a double-hand style towards Sergeant Chesna’s face,” Connor said.

Lopes then picked up Chesna’s gun and fired eight rounds, five of them aimed at the officer’s face.

Chesna was rushed to South Shore Hospital, where he later died.

Another officer fired a round at Lopes, Connor said, hitting him in the knee. Lopes fled but was found in a backyard, where he was taken into custody and to South Shore Hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound.

Officers found three bullets in the sliding door on Adams’s porch.

Lopes’s attorney, Larry Tipton, requested his client be released on a cash bail and sent to a mental health facility, adding that Lopes tried to cut his throat with scissors five years ago. On the day of the killing, Lopes had told family members and medical personnel that “Martians had landed” and that he had seen Jesus, Tipton said.


“His mental health history is well documented,” Tipton said.

The judge did not grant the request for bail or referral to a mental health facility.

The attorneys involved in the case are scheduled to return, without Lopes, to court on Nov. 30 for a pretrial hearing.

Jerome Campbell can be reached at or @jeromercampbell