Fisherman Pleads Guilty to Murder Off Nantucket
BOSTON — A Virginia fisherman pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to murder and other charges after attacking his crewmates with a hammer and a knife aboard a scalloping vessel off the Nantucket coast in 2018.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said in September 2018, 31-year-old Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez attacked three of his six crewmembers while their vessel, the Captain Billy Haver, was sailing around 55 miles off the coast of Nantucket.
Meave Vazquez struck one man in the head with a hammer inside the shucking house, leaving him unconscious.
He then walked onto the deck and stabbed a second man multiple times with a long fillet knife.
Upon hearing the commotion, a third crewmate climbed up from the ice hold, whereupon Meave Vazquez hit him in the head with the hammer.
The victim fell back down the ladder, bleeding from his head, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Meave Vazquez then struggled with the ship's captain before climbing to the top of the rigging mast.
The office stated that the first and second victims were taken by rescue boat to a nearby ship for medical treatment, where the stabbing victim was pronounced dead.
Meave Vazquez stayed at the top of the mast until the Coast Guard arrived and took him into custody.
After arriving at the Boston port the next day, he was transferred into federal custody.
Maeve Vazquez is a Mexican national who is in the United States illegally, according to the office.
On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to one count each of second degree murder, attempted murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon.
He faces a sentence of up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said he will be deported after completing any sentence imposed.
Sentencing is set for June 28, 2022.
Listen to the mayday call from the Captain Billy Haver: