The trial has begun for the Chelsea man who allegedly fatally stabbed his roommate and stuffed him in a trash barrel last year.
Fifty-year-old Israel Vasquez was stabbed to death during a fight with his 24-year-old roommate who dumped his body in a trash can and dragged it about a block away from the crime scene back in January 2010. His body was discovered by passersby the next morning.
Marvin Ruano-Garcia, 25, of Chelsea was arrested soon after allegedly admitting to State Police homicide detectives that he stabbed Vasquez during an argument in the Grove Street apartment that the two men shared.
Prosecutors told the court that a civilian witness heard two women screaming and saw the lower portion of a man’s body poking out of a plastic trash barrel near 122-124 Grove St.
The civilian witness spoke with a nearby resident, who called an off-duty Chelsea Police officer whom she knew. Chelsea Police and State Police homicide detectives assigned to Suffolk DA Daniel F. Conley’s office were subsequently notified as well.
Chelsea Police responded to the scene and as well as State Police responded and detectives from both agencies gathered evidence and undertook multiple interviews that soon led them to the first floor of 96 Grove St. A blood trail led from that address to the trash barrel, and investigators found blood on the building’s rear door landing, on the rear doorway, on a nearby fence, and on a mop discovered in a small trashcan just outside the building.
Vasquez was a resident of 96 Grove St. Also residing at that address was Ruano-Garcia, about whom police had received certain incriminating information—specifically, members of the public informed police that Ruano-Garcia had made incriminating statements about Vasquez’s death.
Ruano-Garcia was given his Miranda rights in English and Spanish before agreeing to a taped interview.
“The defendant later spoke voluntarily with police investigators,” said prosecutors. “The defendant made numerous contradictory and, eventually, incriminating statements about his role in the killing …. During the course of the interview, the defendant stated that he got into an argument with one of his roommates whose name he did not know, but who was later identified as Israel Vasquez over some items that he believed were taken from his room, as well as feelings that Vasquez had for his girlfriend. The defendant further stated that after Vasquez entered his room wielding a knife, a struggle ensued leading to the stabbing death of Vasquez.”
After that interview, and after checking the information it contained against other evidence gathered by police, Suffolk prosecutors approved a warrant charging Ruano-Garcia with Vasquez’s murder.