McHugh Retried; Again Found Guilty in Raustein MurderBy Daniel C. Stevenson
Associate Night Editor
Last Friday in Cambridge District Court, Shon McHugh was again found guilty of first degree murder in the stabbing death of Yngve K. Raustein '94. Raustein was killed on Sept. 18, 1992.
On Oct. 7, McHugh was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison. As a juvenile, however, McHugh had the automatic right to a retrial, according to Jill Reilly, spokeswoman for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.
The retrial is not based on any problem in the proceedings of the first trial, but is guaranteed by state law. "We feel that it's unfortunate that there is this two trial system still in place for juveniles," Reilly said.
The McHugh retrial showed that the system "needs to be abolished," Reilly said. The district attorney "will file legislation next week to abolish the two trial system," according to Reilly.
McHugh's first trial was heard before a judge, under juvenile court rules. The second trial was heard before a jury.
The prosecution "felt that Shon McHugh committed a cold-blooded act and should have been convicted of first degree murder," Reilly said. Assistant District Attorney John McEvoy, who prosecuted McHugh, attempted to "prove that [Raustein's assailants] were out to rob people that night. They came upon Yngve Raustein and his friends" and decided to rob them, Reilly said.
Raustein and Arne Fredheim G, a friend, were walking east of Memorial Drive near Hayden Library, when they were confronted by McHugh, then 15, Alfredo Velez, then 18, and Joseph P. Donovan, then 17.
Donovan punched Raustein, knocking him to the ground. Dovon and Velez robbed then robbed the pair, and when Raustein tried to get up, McHugh stabbed him, according to Fredheim's testimony.
McHugh's attorney, Robert George, argued that McHugh had not intended to murder Raustein, Reilly said. "Their intent was to prove that this was not an armed robbery attempt, that it just happened," she said.
But "if someone dies during the commission of a felony," the murder charge becomes first degree murder, Reilly said.
McHugh is serving a 20-year sentence and will be eligible for parole in 15 years. Until he is 21, he will be held in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services. Then, he will be transferred to the Walpole State Prison, Reilly said.
McHugh did not testify in last week's proceedings, as he did in his first trial. However, Velez testified for the prosecution in exchange for pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Velez will be sentenced this morning at 9:30 a.m.
Donovan, 19, was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery on Oct. 28. He was sentenced to life in prison.