Fall River Woman Gets Life in Prison for Brutal Slaying
FALL RIVER — An 18-year-old Fall River woman will spend life in prison with the possibility of parole after she pleaded guilty to stabbing an elderly woman to death with a pair of scissors in 2019.
Heavenly Arroyo was just 15 years old when she fatally stabbed 68-year-old Ana Vasquez-Rodriguez 70 times with the scissors in her bedroom at a relative's Johnson Street home.
The Bristol County District Attorney's office said Arroyo pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second degree murder in the killing, and will be eligible for parole after 19 years.
Arroyo's great-uncle, who had taken custody of her a week before the murder, was also living with the victim — his girlfriend's mother — at the time.
On Oct. 6, 2019, the great-uncle and his girlfriend planned to take Arroyo to New York for paperwork to gain custody of the teen, who was described by the D.A.'s office as "troubled."
But car problems delayed the trip, and Arroyo became increasingly agitated over the course of the day.
That afternoon, she grabbed a pair of scissors from the kitchen and went up to the victim's bedroom, stabbing her to death.
Vasquez-Rodriguez had suffered a stroke and was bed-ridden, according to the D.A.'s office.
The victim's grandson was also inside the home at the time, but was playing a video game with a headset on.
After the murder Arroyo showered, threw her clothes away in a nearby dumpster, and told the grandson to check on his grandmother.
He did and immediately called 911 to report her death.
Arroyo initially said she was outside the house and saw a masked man running away, but the D.A.'s office said she later made multiple admissions of guilt while in custody.
"This case was a tragedy for everyone involved. The defendant brutally murdered the victim, who was only trying to help her move forward with her life," said Bristol D.A. Thomas Quinn.
"The defendant was 15 at the time and suffering from mental health issues. However, the facts of the case clearly show she is a danger to the community and the state prison sentence is appropriate."
"My heart goes out to the victim’s family, who was present in court yesterday," he added. "I hope the resolution of this case brings some closure to them and they can try to move forward with their lives."