Second Trial Begins for Emanuel Lopes in Weymouth Police Officer and Resident’s 2018 Murder Case

WEYMOUTH, Mass. – Emanuel Lopes, 26, will face opening arguments on Wednesday in his second trial for the 2018 murders of Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna and Weymouth resident Vera Adams, according to a spokesperson for the Norfolk District Attorney’s office.

Lopes’ first trial resulted in a mistrial on July 10, when a juror refused to continue deliberations, causing a hung jury. The retrial jury was selected from Bristol Superior Court in Taunton, under a change-of-venue request granted by Judge Beverly Cannone. Lopes’ defense attorney, Larry Tipton, argued that selecting a local jury for the second trial would not be logical due to extensive media coverage of the first trial and subsequent mistrial.

The pre-trial motions for the retrial are scheduled for Tuesday, with the trial set to take place in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham. Lopes has been held without bail since his arrest at the scene of the crime, where he was found holding Sgt. Chesna’s gun. He was indicted on 11 charges, including two counts of first-degree murder, in September 2018.

The details of the case involve Lopes, who was 20 years old at the time, fleeing a minor traffic accident when he encountered Sgt. Chesna. Prosecutors allege that Lopes hit the officer in the head with a rock, then proceeded to shoot both Chesna and Vera Adams, who was on her sunporch at the time.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Lopes faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. The death penalty is banned in Massachusetts, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

During the first trial, Tipton did not dispute that Lopes fired the shots, but argued that his client’s actions were a result of mental illness. Sgt. Chesna, a six-year veteran of the Weymouth Police Department and a military veteran, is survived by his wife and two children. Adams, known for her love of reading, has a reading room named after her at Weymouth’s Tufts Library.

Opening arguments in Lopes’ second trial will begin on Wednesday, as the Norfolk District Attorney’s office seeks justice for the 2018 murders of Sgt. Chesna and Vera Adams.