Mass. Man Pleads Innocent in Alleged Fraud That Killed Grandmother

January 22, 2006

Two brothers from Lawrence, one charged with murder and the other with manslaughter in unrelated cases, were ordered held without bail after pleading innocent at their arraignments in Salem Superior Court on Friday.

Jacinto Maldonado Jr., 24, is charged with manslaughter for allegedly setting up and then participating in a car accident in Lawrence on Sept. 4, 2003 that authorities say was staged in an effort to defraud insurance companies.

His grandmother, Altagracia Arias, 65, died from head injuries suffered in the incident, which prompted a crackdown on auto insurance fraud in Massachusetts.

Andres Maldonado, 21, is charged with murder in connection with the August 2003 shooting death of Inal Gomez, 19, of Lawrence.

Both men ultimately fled to the Dominican Republic, where they were arrested last week after a cooperative investigation involving state and local police and federal marshals. Both men were on the state’s most wanted fugitive list.

They are both scheduled back in court on March 3.

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