Man accused of killing girlfriend appears in court - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Man accused of killing girlfriend appears in court

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? Mario Rivera puts his head down during his arraignment. ? Mario Rivera puts his head down during his arraignment.

A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend multiple times to death in front of her four children appeared in court Tuesday.

Bristol police said Mario Rivera killed his girlfriend, 29-year-old Shenia Walker, inside her home on Cypress Street earlier this month.

A police report said investigators believe Rivera was under the influence of the drug PCP at the time of the attack.

Walker made a desperate plea for help, just one hour before she was killed.

Rivera, who is the father of two of Walker's four children, appeared in Bristol Superior Court again Tuesday and he was joined by his former girlfriend's family.

"With time, it will heal," said Tammie Walker. "It won't completely heal because there are holidays, birthdays and she will always be remembered and she will always be loved."

In court, the judge raised Rivera's bond to $2.5 million.

"I have support for both sides of the family and this should be a time to come together for the best interest of these children," said Rivera's cousin, Ebony Morales.

The family of Walker said it was an abusive relationship and Walker called her grandmother for help that morning.

"She called me at 2 o'clock and she got killed at 3 a.m.," said Walker's grandmother, who asked not to be named. "I was there, but got there too late. And I wish I had gotten there before that."

A butcher's knife was recovered by police at the scene.

"He still doesn't sincerely know what he's technically done," Morales said. "And all he knows is the love of his life and the mother of his children is gone. And he can't explain what happened."

Both families showed up to court, something they told Eyewitness News they will continue to do.

It's tough," said Walker's aunt Dorothy Brooks. "It's tough because never in a million years did I ever think this would happen."

Rivera was put on mental health watch last week when he appeared in court and that watch will continue.

"I just want justice for my sister," Tammie Walker said. "I want all families to heal and I want people to learn from the violence of domestic dispute."

Rivera is due back in court on May 9. 

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