New Bedford Man Sentenced for 2013 Involuntary Manslaughter

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
February 24,2016

A 28-year-old New Bedford man was sentenced to jail this morning in Fall River Superior Court after pleading guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a 2013 physical altercation in the Ash Street Jail that led to the death of 59-year-old Egidio Batista.

Superior Court Judge Raymond Veary sentenced Luis Mojica to 2-and-a-half years in jail, with 18 months to serve. The remaining balance of his sentence was suspended for three years, meaning if he was to commit a new crime, he could be sent back to jail to complete the full term of his sentence. Additionally, Judge Veary ordered the defendant to complete anger management counseling and obtain his GED.

On July 20th 2013, at approximately 5pm, New Bedford Police responded to a domestic incident involving Mr. Batista and his adult daughter on Aquidneck Street.  The woman reported that Mr. Batista came home intoxicated from alcohol and was arguing with her in an aggressive manner. Mr. Batista was placed in protective custody due to his level of intoxication. He was transported to the Ash Street Jail, where was placed in a holding cell with four other male arrestees, one of which was Mr. Mojica. Mr. Mojica had been arrested earlier in the day for an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend. That case was eventually dismissed after she asserted her 5th Amendment privilege. 

A short time after being placed in the cell, the victim got into an argument with the defendant. During the argument, the defendant forcefully pushed the victim with both hands to the upper chest area, knocking him backward off his feet where his head hits the concrete floor. 

The impact caused the victim to lose consciousness. He underwent emergency surgery but died as a result of the head injury the next morning.  The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to head. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra.

”The circumstances of the case are very unfortunate. Even though the defendant did not intend to kill the victim, this is what can happen when you resort to violence. I feel terribly for the loss the victim’s family has suffered,” said District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III. ”I was present in court during the defendant’s guilty plea, and was satisfied he accepted responsibility for his actions and showed remorse.”

Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications