Grand jury indicts two people in fatal Shrewsbury hit-and-run


Grand jury indicts two people in fatal Shrewsbury hit-and-run
Jerry Santiago Jr. appeared in Westborough District Court in November. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – Two people have been indicted following a fatal hit-and-run in Shrewsbury in October.

According to a press release from Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office, Jerry Santiago Jr., 25, of Worcester, was indicted by a grand jury on motor vehicle homicide, motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, leaving the scene of a personal injury crash resulting in death, driving as to endanger and driving a motor vehicle without a license.

The grand jury also indicted Justina Riopelle, 22, of Worcester, for being an accessory after the fact.

On Oct. 30, the Shrewsbury Police Department and State Police Detectives assigned to Early’s office responded to a report of a hit-and-run on Route 9.

At the time, Early’s office said that the victim – Ghufran Mutar, 20 – was crossing Route 9 at the intersection with South Street while she was on her way home at 10 p.m. after working at CVS when she was struck.

Mutar had been brought to UMass Memorial Medical Center where she later died of her injuries.

Law enforcement began searching for the suspect vehicle, which had left the scene of the crash.

Witnesses told police that the vehicle pulled into a nearby dealership where a man and woman exited the car to assess the damage. They then got back into the vehicle and continued on Route 9. According to the statement of facts filed in Westborough District Court, surveillance footage showed the woman discard a bottle from the vehicle, and when police recovered it, they learned it was a bottle of tequila that was three-fourths filled with a pink liquid.

Westborough police located a vehicle at the Extended Stay America on Oct. 31 with heavy front-end damage.

Santiago was arraigned in Westborough District Court on Nov. 2 where a judge set his bail at $50,000. According to Early’s office, he is still in custody.

Santiago and Riopelle will be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court at a later date.