SAUGUS, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – Two men were sentenced to life Wednesday after being convicted by a jury in connection with a bank robbery and shoot-out with police in Malden that occurred in 2012. One suspect was killed as a result of the shoot-out.
On March 23, 2012, Michael Ginnetti and William Ekasala robbed the Saugus Cooperative Bank while armed and wearing masks. Bank employees were held at gunpoint, officials say. Both men left the bank, with cash, in a red Honda Civic that Gabriel Megna was driving.
The men led the police on a high speed chase into Malden where they entered the Cliffside Commons Apartment Complex on Broadway. Megna and Ekasala allegedly stole a car from a woman whose 5-month-old child was in the backseat. When the suspects were ordered out of the car by police, Megna fled the scene and Ekasala tried to carjack two other people. Shots were fired by both police and Ekasala, who was fatally shot. Ginnetti was found at a nearby apartment complex, Granada Highlands, and police found a loaded gun and a black nylon bag full of cash in his waistband. After several hours of searching, police located Megna hiding under a stairwell in the Cliffside apartment complex.
Ginnetti, 40, of Winthrop, was convicted of two counts of armed and masked robbery, four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, use of body armor in a felony, and carrying a dangerous weapon.
Megna, 49, of East Boston, was convicted of two counts of armed and masked robbery, four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and carrying a dangerous weapon.
The jury found both men not guilty of receiving a stolen motor vehicle. Ginnetti pleaded guilty to a firearm violation with three prior violent or drug offenses.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Faitella said that because the men have very lengthy criminal records, they are “the very definition of career criminals and there is no way to protect the public from these individuals but to incarcerate them for life.”
The judge sentenced both men to life concurrent with 30 to 35 years in prison.