WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A jury has found 33-year-old Reynaldo Mercado guilty on all counts in connection to the 2018 Wilkes-Barre murder of 58-year-old Fred Boote. They took two hours to convict him on numerous charges, including homicide, arson, robbery, abuse of a corpse and several more.
Boote was killed at his home in Wilkes-Barre in September of 2018 after a planned robbery turned deadly.
“This was a brutal murder that took the life of a father of four,” said Tony Ross, Assistant District Attorney. Mercado was also found guilty on robbery, burglary and several other charges.
But Mercado was not alone — he shares these charges with 16-year-old Louisa Reyes who was 14 years old at the time of the murder. Reyes has pleaded guilty for her part in the death. Reyes and Mercado will be sentenced on Thursday at 9 a.m.
The district attorney’s office says they had no doubts Mercado would be convicted of First Degree Murder.
“We knew throughout the entire development of this case that he had the specific intent to kill Fred Boote. By using a deadly weapon an 8.5 inch blade where he stabbed Fred Boote 50 times,” said Ross.
The Boote family has issued the following statement regarding the verdict:
“On behalf of the Boote family, we would like to express our gratitude to the District Attorneys office, detectives, Wilkes Barre and state police that worked tirelessly on bringing justice to our father, and our family. We are grateful to our community and the continuous love and support we have received. We understand this was a loss to many in our community. Their support has been monumental in carrying our hearts, and our lifting our spirits through this awful experience.”The Boote Family
“We hope that this verdict will give the family a sense of closure that justice has been served and that the defendant was held accountable for the crimes that he committed,” said Ross.
Mercado’s trial was held at the Mohegan Sun Arena for social distancing purposes.