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Fall River teen sentenced to life in prison for brutal murder of 68-year-old Vasquez-Rodriguez



Heavenly Arroyo, an 18-year-old Fall River woman, who three years ago stabbed a 68-year-old woman to death inside her relative’s home, pleaded guilty yesterday in Fall River Superior Court to Second Degree Murder, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Arroyo was sentenced by Judge Renee Dupuis to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 19 years.

On October 6, 2019, Arroyo entered Ana Vasquez-Rodriguez’s bedroom and stabbed her 70 times. The homicide took place in the Johnson Street home of the Arroyo’s great-uncle, who had taken custody of her at the request of her mother a week prior to the killing. The victim was the mother of the great-uncle’s girlfriend.

On October 6th, the great-uncle and his girlfriend were planning on taking Arroyo to New York to visit another relative and obtain some legal documents in order to help the couple to formally gain custody of the troubled Arroyo. The trip, however, was delayed due to car problems. As the day wore on, Arroyo became increasingly agitated and impatient. Then, late in the afternoon, Arroyo retrieved a pair of scissors from the kitchen, went up to the victim’s bedroom and murdered her. The victim was bed-ridden after suffering a stroke and could not defend herself.

At the time of the killing, the only other person inside the home was the victim’s grandson, who was playing a video game with a headset on. After killing the victim, Arroyo showered, disposed of her clothing in a nearby dumpster and told the victim’s grandson that his grandmother wasn’t well. When the grandson looked in on his grandmother, he immediately called 911 and police arrived shortly thereafter. At first, Arroyo claimed she was outside with the dog and witnessed a masked man running from the home, but while in custody she made a series of inculpatory, spontaneous admissions.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Dennis Collins and Maryclare Flynn.

“This case was a tragedy for everyone involved. The defendant brutally murdered the victim, who was only trying to help her move forward with her life. The defendant was 15 at the time and suffering from mental health issues. However, the facts of the case clearly show she is a danger to the community and the state prison sentence is appropriate,” District Attorney Quinn said. “My heart goes out to the victim’s family, who was present in court yesterday. There is nothing any of them could have done to prevent this terrible incident from occurring. I hope the resolution of this case brings some closure to them and they can try to move forward with their lives.”

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