Illegal Alien Gets Up to 19 Years in Prison for Strangling Massachusetts School Teacher to Death


An illegal alien has pleaded guilty to strangling to death a Worcester, Massachusetts, school teacher in 2017, receiving up to 19 years in prison.

Jose Melendez, a 60-year-old illegal alien from the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter in the killing of 49-year-old Sandra “Buffy” Hehir who was found strangled to death in her apartment on February 5, 2017.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, Melendez was initially charged with murder for Hehir’s death but took a plea deal that gives him just 17 to 19 years in prison as a result.

Hehir’s family and friends, whom prosecutors said supported the plea deal, spoke at the hearing to share stories about the beloved teacher who had been in the local school system for more than a decade.

“Buffy was a dreamer, a strong soul, and went through life with a smile on her face,” Hehir’s sister said at the hearing, according to the Telegram & Gazette:

Hehir was smart, athletic and joyful, Tsouvalos said, and was beloved by her students at Claremont Academy. [Emphasis added]

“I will miss you, Ms Herir. You will always be in my heart,” Tsouvalos quoted a student who labeled Hehir the “best teacher in the world” as writing on her memorial page. [Emphasis added]

Prosecutors had a strong case for their murder charge against Melendez, reportedly obtaining DNA evidence that linked the illegal alien directly to the crime scene in Hehir’s apartment.

Melendez, despite having a number of run-ins with law enforcement, was never deported from the United States before Hehir’s death. When his DNA was obtained at the crime scene in Hehir’s case, for instance, it matched the DNA discovered at the scene of an unsolved rape case in 2000.

Likewise, in 2014, Melendez defaulted on probation after being convicted of breaking and entering and was charged with two unrelated drug-related crimes at the time of his arrest for Hehir’s death.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.


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