FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A teenager convicted of stabbing a woman to death in 2019 has been sentenced to life in prison, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.
Heavenly Arroyo, 18, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 19 years, the DA’s office said.
On Oct. 6, 2019, Arroyo entered the room of 68-year-old Ana Vasquez-Rodriguez and stabbed her 70 times, according to police. She was the mother of Arroyo’s great-uncle’s girlfriend.
Prosecutors said her great-uncle and his girlfriend planned to take Arroyo to New York that day to visit another relative and get legal documents to formally take custody of her.
The trip was delayed due to car problems and Arroyo became “increasingly agitated and impatient,” prosecutors said.
Arroyo then got a pair of scissors, went up to Vasquez-Rodriguez’s room, and stabbed her to death, according to prosecutors. Vasquez-Rodriguez was bedridden after suffering a stroke and couldn’t defend herself.
Prosecutors said Arroyo showered, got rid of her clothes in a nearby dumpster, and told Vasquez-Rodriguez’s grandson that his grandmother wasn’t well.
When he went to check on her, he immediately called 911.
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.”
“This case was a tragedy for everyone involved,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said. “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,” Quinn continued. “However, the facts of the case clearly show she is a danger to the community and the state prison sentence is appropriate.”