A Jamaica Plain man and another defendant pleaded guilty to a 2011 Charlestown killing on May 7, the day their trial was set to begin.
Jose Mercado, 20, of JP and Prince Denis, 23, of Dorchester pleaded guilty to manslaughter, unlawful firearm possession and witness intimidation, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. They had faced trial on first-degree murder charges in the Nov. 29, 2011 shooting of Willie Marquis Turner.
Mercado was immediately sentenced to 19 to 20 years in state prison, and Denis to 15 years.
The convictions came despite prosecutors having no eyewitnesses and no murder weapon, according to the DA’s Office. A breakthrough came in 2012, when Mercado and Denis were arrested on drug and gun charges as part of “Operation Tourniquet,” a Boston Police and FBI undercover operation in Charlestown.