In 2021, Alessia Mesquita was shot on the street in the morning. Despite being a cherished member of her community and surrounded by the love of her family, including her two children, it was soon revealed by the police that she had been in an abusive relationship. The perpetrator of this act of domestic violence was identified as her boyfriend, Rashod Newton, who took her life and fled from the scene. The details of Alessia’s story and the apprehension of Newton are explored in ‘American Monster: Angels and Demons.’
How Did Alessia Mesquita Die?
Alessia Maria Mesquita, born on June 20, 1992, in New Haven, was the second oldest among her eight siblings. A lifelong resident of New Haven, she graduated from East Haven Adult Education. Alessia worked for Home Depot for several years before deciding to pursue a career in the medical field. She graduated as a Medical Assistant from Branford Hall and, by 2022, was employed in that capacity with Endocrine Associates in Branford. Alessia had previously been married to Joseph Martinez, Jr., with whom she had a son named Joseph Rey Martinez. However, the two had separated, and divorce proceedings were underway.
Alessia Mesquita was in a relationship with a man named Rashod Newton, and they had a daughter named Alaia Grace Newton together. On the morning of March 22, 2021, Alessia was shot four times outside, near a car parked on Clifton St. in New Haven. The perpetrator fled the scene, and upon the police’s arrival, Alessia was pronounced dead, having succumbed to the gunshot wounds.
Who Killed Alessia Mesquita?
Following conversations with neighbors, the police determined that Alessia Mesquita’s boyfriend, Rashod Newton, was the individual responsible for shooting her. Surveillance footage revealed that Alessia had exited the car, and Newton, with their 1-year-old daughter Alaia Grace Newton still in the vehicle, started driving. Alessia chased the car, prompting Newton to stop and shoot her four times before fleeing the scene with their daughter.
The police swiftly located Rashod Newton in the same car just a few hours later on Eastern Street, and the child was found unharmed in the vehicle. Despite her apparent well-being, the police took the child to the hospital for a more thorough examination. Subsequently, Alessia’s mother, Sandy Mesquita, assumed care of Alaia Grace Newton. Newton was promptly arrested on a first-degree assault charge, which had been filed against him on January 23, 2020. This charge stemmed from an incident in which Newton shot and injured a housemate who had attempted to intervene and stop a fight between Newton and Alessia. An arrest warrant had been issued against Newton at that time but had not been executed until now.
Shortly after the incident, Alessia’s mother, Sandy, informed the police that Newton had been an abusive man, subjecting her daughter to emotional, physical, and financial abuse throughout their relationship. Despite facing such abuse, Alessia, like many other victims of domestic violence, kept returning to him. It is alleged that Newton struggled with drug addiction, and Alessia believed that she could help him overcome his issues, hoping he would change and become the partner she desired.
A few days before the incident, Alessia had visited her mother’s house with her daughter, taking a stand and expressing her intention to leave Newton. However, on the day before the incident, when Sandy returned home from work, she found that Alessia had packed her bags, along with her daughter’s belongings, and mentioned that she was going to meet Newton at Target. Alessia assured her mother that she would return soon, but unfortunately, she never came back. She went with Newton to his house and was shot the next morning.
Newton, on the other hand, had a criminal background even before meeting Alessia. In 2012, he faced narcotics charges and received a 5-year sentence. In the same year, he was given an additional 22 months after pleading guilty to a felony charge of carrying a pistol without a permit. In 2016, he was sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to a third-degree assault charge, and in the same year, he received a six-year sentence on narcotics charges, which was suspended after 15 months.
Where is Rashod Newton Now?
After his arrest, Rashod Newton was charged with the murder of Alessia Mesquita, risk of injury to a minor, and criminal possession of a firearm. The court set his bond at $3 million. In December 2022, Newton pleaded guilty to all the charges against him, and on January 26, 2023, he was given a sentence of 35 years. Rashod is currently 30 years old and is serving his sentence at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. There are no updates about a parole hearing or an expected parole release date. As per his current sentence, he will be released from prison in 2056.