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July 27, 2013

Gloucester man’s killer pleads to murder

The man who admitted to killing a 27-year-old Gloucester man in an October 2011 stabbing in Nashua, N.H., will face from 30 years to life in prison, after pleading guilty as part of a plea deal Friday in the killing of Paul Frontiero III.

Frontiero’s father, Paul Frontiero Jr., said Friday that he hopes Judge Diane Nicolosi, presiding over the case, will protect the public by putting now 21-year-old Matthew Packer behind bars for life.

“I just can’t understand how someone who had no idea who these people were who he was attacking did what he’s done. He stabbed my son 16 times,” Frontiero said. “It’s just unbelievable and unthinkable.”

In pleading guilty Friday to “knowing second-degree” murder, under New Hampshire law, Packer admitted to stabbing Frontiero outside his then Nashua home and inflicting wounds to both his heart and his lungs after Frontiero stepped in to defend his two female roommates whom Packer had assaulted. Packer plead guilty to two charges of assault against the women in court Friday, too.

A prosecutor read a detailed summary of the gruesome events that led up to Frontiero’s death in court before Packer, initially charged with first-degree murder, entered his pleas. Frontiero’s family, until those moments, had spared themselves some of the more painful details of the case.

“We knew an overview of what was going on, we didn’t know how it actually went down, but now we do,” Frontiero said.

Frontiero remembers his son, who was 27 at the time of his death, as a generous man. The younger Frontiero had been preparing to head to bed to get some sleep before an early morning of work at his EMT job in the rough Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, when he interrupted the assault on his female roommates.

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