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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Former Nashua man affected by court ruling

CONCORD – A Nashua man is one of the four affected by state Supreme Court’s decision issued Friday ordering new sentencing hearings for underage convicted murders.

Eduardo Lopez Jr. was 17 when he shot and killed Robert Goyette, 31, while Goyette idled his car waiting for his wife to exit Martha’s Exchange Restaurant on Main Street on a snowy March night in 1991. Although he was tried and convicted as an adult, Friday’s decision entitles him to present evidence at a new sentencing hearing under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bars mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders. ...

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CONCORD – A Nashua man is one of the four affected by state Supreme Court’s decision issued Friday ordering new sentencing hearings for underage convicted murders.

Eduardo Lopez Jr. was 17 when he shot and killed Robert Goyette, 31, while Goyette idled his car waiting for his wife to exit Martha’s Exchange Restaurant on Main Street on a snowy March night in 1991. Although he was tried and convicted as an adult, Friday’s decision entitles him to present evidence at a new sentencing hearing under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bars mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.

The state attorney general agreed Stephen Spader, who murdered Mont Vernon mother and nurse Kimberly Cates in 2009, was entitled to the new hearing.

He received his original sentence of life without parole plus 76 years for related crimes.

Lopez was convicted of shooting Goyette in the neck from point-blank range during a botched robbery.

Lopez began his roughly two-hour rampage that night by shooting
a 30-something homeless man, Roscoe Powers, on the other side of Main Street.

Powers, who survived, had scared Lopez away by brandishing a knife as he lay in a doorway.

Goyette tried to drive away from Lopez after he pointed a gun in the window, but was shot as he turned the car onto West Pearl Street.

Goyette survived the night as doctors struggled to revive him at St. Joseph Hospital, but died the next day.

Lopez was initially treated as a juvenile, but ultimately tried as an adult because of the brutality of the murder.

He was convicted on June 23, 1993, and turned over the defense table, shouted obscenities at the jury and flipped his middle finger at news cameras upon hearing the verdict.

A judge then sentenced him to what was at the time a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote
on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).