Suffolk County DA: Alleged Assailant Indicted, Apprehended in 2016 Belle Isle Marsh Homicide

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BOSTON, Jan. 16, 2018—A man previously convicted of attacking a man in the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation has been charged with an earlier assault in the same location that claimed the life of 83-year-old East Boston resident Daniel Pepe, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

The Suffolk County Grand Jury on Dec. 20 returned indictments charging MICHAEL BRUZZESE (D.O.B. 5/26/65) with manslaughter and unarmed robbery of a person over 60 in the May 29, 2016, assault that caused Pepe’s death three days later.  The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section apprehended Bruzzese this morning in Cambridge and he is expected to be arraigned later today in Suffolk Superior Court.

Bruzzese, who had a temporary residence in Cambridge and formerly lived in Hingham, was previously charged in connection with a separate assault on a 67-year-old Lynn man on June 1, 2016.  The evidence showed that Bruzzese approached this man, struck him, and demanded his car keys. Bruzzese later pleaded guilty in that case and was sentenced to 18 months in a house of correction.  He was released from that sentence approximately two weeks before the recent indictments were returned.

Bruzzese allegedly assaulted Pepe on May 29, 2016, in the same area of the marsh where the assault on the Lynn man later took place.  Pepe was found on a bench suffering trauma to the left side of his face and the back of his head but unable to tell emergency medical technicians what had happened.  While his car was located in the reservation’s parking lot, his keys were missing.  Pepe was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died on June 1 of blunt force injuries to the head.

Because the assault that resulted in Pepe’s death occurred on Department of Conservation and Recreation property within the City of Boston, it was investigated by the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit with the assistance of Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police.

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum led the grand jury investigation resulting in Bruzzese’s indictment.  Elise McConnell is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. 

Source: DA’s office