BOSTON — A Mexican national has been arrested and charged in connection with a murder aboard a fishing boat off the coast of Massachusetts.

The U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts' Office says Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, is charged with one count of murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, as well as one count of attempted murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Vazquez appeared in federal court in Boston to answer to the charges on Monday. He will return to federal court at a later date.

Prosecutors allege that on Sunday, September 23, Vazquez assaulted a fellow crew member with a hammer and a knife while aboard the 83-foot fishing vessel, Captain Billy Haver, based out of Virginia, which was located about 55 miles off the coast of Nantucket at the time of the attack. The victim of the attack then saw that another crew member was lying on the deck, bleeding. Vazquez then allegedly struck a third crew member. Vazquez then scaled the ship's mast as other crew members tried to capture him.

The captain of the Captain Billy Have placed a call on the distress channel, prompting a German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6, to respond. Two of the wounded crew members were taken aboard the cruise ship, where the ship's doctor pronounced one of them dead.

According to court documents, Vazquez is in the United States illegally. On March 9, 2018, Vazquez was arrested in Newport News, Virginia, on charges of abduction by force, intimidation, or deception, and was released on bond.

If convicted of murder, Vazquez could face up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. A conviction of attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Vazquez will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of any sentence he may receive.

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