BOSTON - The man charged with the murder of a crew member onboard a Seaford-based fishing boat off the coast of Massachusetts in September 2018 pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday.
Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. He was indicted in November 2018.
On Sept. 23, 2018, the scalloping vessel the Captain Billy Haver was sailing about 55 miles off the coast of Nantucket with seven crew members aboard, including Meave Vazquez and the three victims. Inside the shucking house, Meave Vazquez used a hammer to strike one of the victims hard in the head into unconsciousness.
Meave Vazquez then walked out onto the deck and stabbed a second victim multiple times with a long fillet knife. In response to the commotion, the third victim climbed up from the ice hold, and Meave Vazquez hit him in the head with the hammer, causing him to fall back down the ladder, bleeding from his head. Meave Vazquez then struggled with captain of the boat before climbing to the top of the rigging mast.
A rescue boat took the first two victims to a nearby ship for medical attention, where the second victim was pronounced dead.
Meave Vazquez remained at the top of the mast until the Coast Guard arrived that evening and was immediately taken into custody. Meave Vazquez was transferred into federal custody once he arrived at the Boston port the next day.
Authorities say Maeve Vazquez, who is from Mexico, is in the United States illegally.
Maeve Vazquez faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for the second-degree murder charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for the attempted murder charge and faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for the assault with a dangerous weapon charge.
Meave Vazquez will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of any sentence imposed.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.