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Boston Man Arraigned in Connection with 2018 Death of Cambridge Teenager


CAMBRIDGE – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard Jr. have announced that Isaias Plaza, 19, of Boston, was arraigned today in Middlesex Superior Court and charged with manslaughter and assault and battery causing serious bodily injury in connection with the 2018 death of Richelle Robinson in Cambridge.

First Assistant Clerk Magistrate Daniel Flaherty ordered the defendant held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. The next scheduled hearing in this case is August 13.

On July 22, 2018, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Cambridge Police responded to a report of a female who had been shoved to the ground on Cambridge Street. Upon arrival, first responders located the victim, later identified at 15-year-old Richelle Robinson, of Cambridge, unresponsive and bleeding. The victim was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where she was pronounced dead on July 23, 2018.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner later ruled the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.

Cambridge Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office immediately began an investigation. Through their investigation authorities learned that the victim had been walking to a friend’s house at the time of the apparent assault. Eye witnesses informed authorities that they had allegedly seen a male leaving the scene of the assault on a bicycle wearing jeans and black sneakers with white soles. The defendant allegedly later burned the clothes described by witnesses at the time of the assault in an effort to avoid being connected to the death of the victim.

Investigators subsequently learned that the victim and defendant were known to each other and had previously shared a group of friends. Authorities discovered that the defendant had a falling out with the victim and other members of their circle of friends in the weeks preceding this incident.

The defendant was directly indicted on July 29, 2019 by a Middlesex Superior Court Grand Jury.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Nicole Allain. The Victim Witness Advocate is Helena Clarke.

We want to express our continued sympathies for the Robinson family and those closest with Richelle. We also want to thank the community for their patience on the investigation around this tragic case, which understandably generated great interest. 

This was an investigation that was deeply personal for many of our Officers, as Richelle was a well-liked person who had a direct connection with the Department, as she had participated and graduated from the Cambridge Youth Police Academy Class two summers ago and had aspired to be an EMT. 

While we recognize the pain of losing Richelle will never escape her family and friends, we hope that today’s developments bring some level of closure and justice for those closest to her.

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Branville G. Bard, Jr.
Police Commissioner

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