SPRINGFIELD, MA – In a tragic turn of events, Arthur Waters, a 44-year-old Massachusetts man, has been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a series of heinous crimes, including the murder of a man who attempted to rescue a kidnapping victim. This sentence, handed down by the Hampden County Superior Court, marks the culmination of a case that has shocked the local community.
The incident unfolded on May 29, 2021, in Springfield, Massachusetts, when Waters kidnapped a woman after physically assaulting and threatening her. In a desperate bid for help, the woman managed to separate from Waters and contact a friend. As she attempted to escape the residence where she was held, she flagged down her friend’s car. At this critical juncture, Abushante Jennings, 37, a friend of the driver, stepped out of the vehicle to assist the victim. Waters, in a cold-blooded response, approached Jennings and fatally shot him multiple times.
The police, responding to a call about shots fired on Lionel Benoit Road, discovered Jennings on Bertil Hammarlof Road. Despite being rushed to Baystate Medical Center, Jennings succumbed to his injuries. This act of violence not only claimed Jennings’s life but also left a community in mourning and a family grappling with an irreplaceable loss.
During the trial, prosecutors presented a damning case against Waters, leading to his conviction on multiple charges. These included first-degree murder, illegal possession of a firearm, armed kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and intimidating a witness. The verdict, delivered by a jury, reflects the gravity of Waters’ crimes and his blatant disregard for human life.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni expressed hope that the verdict would bring some measure of justice to Jennings’s family. He commended the Springfield Police Department for their thorough investigation. He acknowledged his team’s hard work, including lead trial counsel Assistant District Attorney Katharine Johnston, second chair Assistant District Attorney Carrie Kenniston, appellate counsel Assistant District Attorney Michael Locke, and Chief Victim Witness Advocate Jane Chevalier.
This is not Waters’ first brush with the law. In 2016, he was sentenced to three to five years in prison for breaking with intent to commit a felony. This earlier conviction stemmed from a case where Waters, driven by an unreciprocated romantic interest, followed a woman and her friends from a strip club to her apartment and then stabbed them. Additionally, Waters had a history of violent behavior dating back to 1999, including a guilty plea for intent to murder.
The sentencing of Arthur Waters brings closure to a case that highlights the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the bravery of individuals like Abushante Jennings, who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to help others. It also underscores the importance of a robust legal system in bringing perpetrators of such heinous acts to justice, providing solace to the victims and their families.