BOSTON, July 23, 2013—A Suffolk Superior Court jury today convicted a South Boston man of first-degree murder for the beating death of 65-year-old Barbara Tagen in her own home two years ago, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Jurors convicted ADAM CASSINO (D.O.B. 5/9/86) of that crime under both theories available to them – deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Cassino faces a mandatory life term without the possibility of parole at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 5 at 9:00 am
“Police and prosecutors with decades of experience were shocked at the level of brutality in this case,” Conley said. “It was a crime of almost unspeakable violence. This was the only appropriate verdict, and I hope it gives Ms. Tagen’s family and loved ones some satisfaction.”
During seven days of testimony, Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum introduced evidence proving that Cassino beat Tagen to death with a baseball bat inside her Andrew Square apartment sometime between Tagen’s last contact with family members on Aug. 23, 2011, and Cassino’s involuntary commitment to a drug treatment facility on Aug. 24.
On Aug. 22, the evidence showed, Cassino was accused of stealing prescription pills from another resident of Tagen’s apartment building. This sparked a series of confrontations that led Cassino to be thrown out of his own home and stay at a friend’s apartment for two nights. Cassino was unaccounted for at several points including the late afternoon of Aug. 23. Witnesses described his demeanor around this time as erratic and agitated.
Boston Police took Cassino into custody on Aug. 24 after his mother petitioned the court to have him civilly committed, and he was taken to the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center at Bridgewater State Hospital. Three days later, Tagen’s body was found with massive blunt trauma injuries to her head. She had been dead for several days.
Boston Police homicide detectives interviewed Cassino, who claimed that Tagen had offered to sell him prescription pills but that he didn’t enter her apartment because he didn’t have any money. Detectives also recovered Cassino’s sneakers, which had traces of blood on the soles and tongue. Testimony showed that the blood on Cassino’s shoes matched Tagen’s DNA.
Detectives also recovered an aluminum baseball bat in the apartment where Cassino stayed on the nights of Aug. 22 and 23. Like his shoes, the bat carried traces of blood with a DNA match to Tagen. In addition, the grip of the bat yielded “handler DNA” consistent with Cassino’s genetic profile, forensically linking him to both the murder victim and the murder weapon.
Katherine Moran was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Cassino was represented by attorney Lorenzo Perez.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.