A Massachusetts man was found guilty Wednesday of killing a former Army sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It took a Suffolk Superior Court jury ninety minutes to convict 28-year-old Salem resident Peter Castillo of first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of Stephen Perez.
Prosecutors say Castillo shot Perez in the back during a fight in a parking garage in Boston's Theater District. It was an altercation allegedly sparked by a racial slur.
Castillo then took off to the Dominican Republic, but police arrested him there in January 2015 and brought him back to Massachusetts, where he was charged.
Perez’s death has been difficult for his family to accept. Family said he served two tours in Afghanistan only to be killed here at home.
"We all loved Stephen so much," said cousin Arianna Bordonaro. "He had a heart of gold do anything for anybody."
His family said they were glad to finally see justice served.
"It’ll never bring back Stephen but it is something we can move on from," said Bordonaro.
Castillo is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.