Skip to main content

Your Tewksbury Today

Long-Delayed, Trials To Begin For Two Men In Connection To Death Of Tewksbury Teen

Sep 26, 2018 02:19PM ● By Bill Gilman

Ethan Costello

Atty. Paul King

 It has been nearly two years since Tewksbury 15-year-old Ethan Costello died after being slammed onto a concrete floor at an underaged drinking party in Lowell.

This fall, following numerous delays, two men will finally go on trial in connection with his death.

According to the Office of District Attorney Marian Ryan, the trials of Thomas Ogden, 51, of Lowell and Joseph Zagarella, 20, of Tewksbury, are scheduled to begin Nov. 5 in Lowell Superior Court. Pre-trial motions are scheduled to be heard on Oct. 11.

Zagarella is person prosecutors say is directly responsible for Costello's death. He is charged with manslaughter and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the concrete floor). According to investigators, Costello was intoxicated and accidentally bumped into Zagarella, who had just arrived at the party. Zagarella, significantly bigger and three years older, allegedly picked up Costello and slammed him onto the floor, with his neck and head taking the brunt of the impact.

The party, which took place mostly in a barn adjacent to the main house, was attended by an estimated 75 teens, many of whom were from Tewksbury. Ogden, the owner of the property, was home at the time of the party and the fatal incident. He is being charged with providing alcohol to minors and allowing the drinking party to take place on his property.

The delay in the start of the trial had to do do, largely with a significant backlog at the office of the State Medical Examiner, which caused a delay in the autopsy report. Without that report, and under pressure from the judge to move forward with their case, prosecutors had initially reduced the charge against Zagarella to assault. However, once the M.E. report concluded the death was a homicide, prosecutors got an indictment for manslaughter.

According to investigators, there was a significant delay in getting medical treatment for Costello, as none of the party-goers was willing to call 911. Witnesses told police that Ogden also refused to get Costello help. Some of the teens brought Costello into the main house and tried to revive him in the shower and later drove him to LGH-Saints Campus, according to the report.

Costello was ultimately transported to Tufts Floating Hospital in Boston, where he later died from his injuries.

No charges have been filed against the other party attendees.

Ogden has said he knew his child was hosting a few friends for a party but he told police he was unaware of any alcohol being consumed.


Follow us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday