Two men, who were convicted Tuesday of robbing Saugusbank in Saugus and then engaging police in a shootout in Malden on March 23, 2012, were sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, according to the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
“These men are the very definition of career criminals,” Essex Assistant District Attorney Kim Faitella argued during sentencing, “and there is no way to protect the public from these individuals but to incarcerate them for life.”
Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy sentenced the men.
On Tuesday, Michael Ginnetti, 40, of Winthrop, and Gabriel Megna, 49, of East Boston, were each found guilty by a Salem Superior Court jury of two counts of armed and masked robbery, four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and carrying a dangerous weapon. Ginnette was also convicted of use of body armor in a felony and pleaded guilty to a firearm violation with three prior violent or drug offenses.
Both men were found not guilty of receiving a stolen motor vehicle.
A third suspect, 35-year-old William Ekasala, of East Boston, was fatally shot by police during the shootout in Malden.
According to authorities, Ginnetti and Ekasala robbed the bank at gunpoint with Megna as the getaway driver.
After a high-speed chase, the suspects entered the Cliffside Apartment Complex at 500 Broadway. Megna and Ekasala then carjacked a female’s vehicle with her 5-month-old infant still in the backseat, authorities said.
A Malden Police detective ordered the men from the vehicle. After that, Ekasala attempted to carjack another vehicle, engaged in gunfire with police and was fatally shot.
Ginnette was found in Granada Highlands, a nearby apartment complex, Megna in a Cliffeside Apartments’ stairwell.
Malden and Saugus police, Massachusetts State Police and the FBI were involved in apprehending the suspects.