Man convicted of road rage killing after altercation, slur
May 1, 2023, 3:09 PM
BELMONT, Mass. (AP) — A 56-year-old Massachusetts man was convicted of murder in the 2021 death of a Black man after a road rage encounter in which he yelled a racial slur, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said Monday.
Dean Kapsalis, of Hudson, was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder, violation of constitutional rights and other offenses in the killing of 34-year-old Henry Tapia, District Attorney Marian Ryan said at a news conference.
“The murder of Henry Tapia is a senseless tragedy fueled by hate and anger,” Ryan said in a statement. “The fact that some of the last words Henry Tapia heard were a horrific racial insult meant to intimidate and threaten him based on the color of his skin is something we cannot tolerate.
Kapsalis and Tapia got into a verbal altercation Jan. 19, 2021. Investigators found that as the argument wound down, Kapsalis shouted the slur and then hit Tapia with his pickup. Tapia died at a hospital, prosecutors said.
Kapsalis argued at trial that Tapia’s death was an accident.