Guillermo "Junior" Malave III had shown promise as a writer and an artist, having once written in Northeast magazine about the pain he caused family members who watched him do the perp walk while a teenager.
"Wonder how a convict's family feels seeing their child chained and in a blue jumpsuit?" Malave wrote, in an article published in September 2001 in The Courant's former Sunday magazine. "My mother would say that she would cry every day while I was in detention. I could feel my family's pain. I missed my mom and dad when I was in detention. I missed everybody."
Tuesday afternoon in Rockville, his mother, Carmen JnBaptiste, sat at her kitchen table, surrounded by friends and family, preparing for her son's funeral. Between answering telephone calls, JnBaptiste thumbed through journals her son had written and cut out photos of him to paste on a board to display at his funeral, which has not yet been scheduled.
Malave's body was at the medical examiner's office in Hartford, JnBaptiste said.
The circumstances of Malave's death are still under investigation, but JnBaptiste said her son might have been lured to Hartford and killed because of a dispute over a woman. He'd been with his girlfriend in East Hartford earlier in the evening, she said, when he received a call from a friend telling him to go to Vine Street, JnBaptiste said.
Hartford police were called to 42-44 Vine St. about 10:15 p.m. and found Malave bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. Malave's mother said he'd been hit six times.
Blood and bullet holes were still visible Tuesday morning in the first-floor hallway near the bottom of a flight of stairs. A first-floor resident of the building said she heard nine shots coming from upstairs Monday night. Malave was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:44 p.m., police said.
Police are looking for a stocky, 5-foot-10 black man. He wore dark clothing and was seen leaving in a dark-colored Honda, police said.
JnBaptiste said her son was focused on doing the right thing and getting a job, but was having a hard time doing so because of his criminal record. He had convictions for accessory to third-degree robbery, sale of narcotics and several domestic violence charges.
His mother said he had tried for several months to find a job but had little luck. He did have an interview scheduled for Tuesday at a warehouse in Windsor Locks.
Ann M. Guillet, a public defender who represented Malave on several cases at Superior Court in Rockville, said she remembers him as "a very intelligent, polite and respectful young man." She also said the story of young men like Malave having trouble finding a job is familiar to her.
"I have experienced many clients who once released from prison, who have a felony on their record, have trouble finding suitable employment," Guillet said. Even minimum wage jobs are tough to come by, she said. "A felony conviction makes potential employers nervous," she said.
JnBaptiste said her son liked to write. While incarcerated, he wrote about his fear that he would be killed on the street as well as an essay to his sons should something happen to him. JnBaptiste said her son had put the life on the streets behind him.
Malave was honored for his artwork in 1997 and 1998.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Hartford police Major Crimes Division Sgt. Rob Davis at 860-757-4256 or Det. Mark Fowler at 860-757-4260. Confidential tips can be left on the HPD Crime Solvers Tipline, 860-757-8477.
Contact David Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org.