• Caraballo found guilty on multiple counts
    October 02,2013

    Staff Report

    Frank Caraballo was found guilty of murder today by a federal jury that spent two weeks hearing his case in Rutland. At just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, after close to 8 hours of deliberation, jurors returned guilty verdicts on all but one of the counts against Caraballo, 31, of Holyoke, Mass.

    Jurors found Caraballo guilty of killing 31-year-old Melissa Barratt of Brattleboro, whose body was found in the woods of Dummerston on July 29, 2011. While jurors found Caraballo guilty of causing Barratt's death, they returned a not guilty verdict of actually pulling the trigger of the gun used to execute Barratt.

    That partial acquittal will have little effect on the potential sentence that Caraballo faces. Of more significance was the jury's finding that while Caraballo was guilty of distributing cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine from March to July of 2011, they decided there was not evidence to support the government's charge that Caraballo had distributed in excess of 280 grams of crack cocaine. That determination changes the sentencing potential in the case from a mandatory life sentence to a potential life sentence on that charge alone.

    Caraballo also faces potential life sentences on the other three charges that he was convicted of Wednesday.

    He was, in total, found guilty of: Conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine; of being a felon in possession of a firearm; of using a firearm in furtherance of drug distribution; and of murdering Barratt.

    No sentencing date was set in the case today. However, judge Cristina Reiss gave the defense 20 days to file post-trial motions.
    We will update this story with more details today.

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