BOSTON, Oct. 2, 2015—More than four years after 28-year-old Terrance Johnson was shot to death in Dorchester, the Suffolk County Grand Jury has indicted his alleged killer for first-degree murder, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans announced.
The indictment, returned yesterday, charges JOAO F. VICENTE (D.O.B. 8/15/89) with shooting Johnson in the back of the head near the corner of Humphreys Street and Humphreys Place just after 8:10 p.m. on the night of May 31, 2011, killing him. Vicente allegedly fled the scene on foot, then travelled almost immediately to Springfield, Massachusetts. more »
BOSTON, Oct. 2, 2015—The man who murdered off-duty corrections officer Sgt. Richard Dever outside a Charlestown bar will not receive a new trial, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
In a decision re-issued yesterday after being withdrawn earlier this year, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of FRANCIS X. LANG (D.O.B. 10/27/74) of Charlestown in the 2005 stabbing death of 35-year-old Dever. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 23, 2015—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today delivered the following remarks on the indictment of JAMES WITKOWSKI (D.O.B. 11/27/72) for the 1992 murder of 21-year-old Lena Bruce in Boston’s South End:
“More than a quarter century ago, a young woman named Lena Bruce came to the Boston area from her hometown of Philadelphia to study at Tufts University. She graduated with honors in May of 1992, the only African American woman in her class to receive a degree in electrical engineering. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 30, 2015—A Dorchester teen freshly out on bail in a pending gun case had that bail revoked hours later after he was arrested on new firearm charges Monday, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
The 17-year-old male from Dorchester was arraigned yesterday in the juvenile division of Dorchester Municipal Court on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and carrying a loaded firearm. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Kelsey LoDuca, Judge Michael Coyne set bail in the amount of $20,000 and revoked the juvenile’s open bail in a January gun case. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 23, 2015—More than two decades after he sexually assaulted a young child living in his home, a Dorchester man has been sentenced to state prison and the adult survivor of his abuse declared herself “liberated,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
OLEN PETERSON (D.O.B. 1/11/58) was convicted Sept. 18 of one count of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery of a child. Assistant District Attorney Alissa Goldhaber of the DA’s Child Protection Unit recommended that Peterson serve 12 to 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation with strict conditions intended to ensure he does not reoffend. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 23, 2015—A former funeral director who continued to operate without a license was sentenced to prison today for stealing nearly $150,000 from clients and storing the remains of 12 bodies in a Weymouth storage facility, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
During an appearance today in Suffolk Superior Court, JOSEPH V. O’DONNELL (D.O.B. 9/10/58) today pleaded guilty to charges of:
Assistant District Attorney Greer Spatz recommended that O’Donnell serve a sentence of five to seven years in prison followed by probation. Judge Kimberly Budd sentenced him to three to five years in prison followed by a five-year probationary period, during which time he may not work in the funeral business or make any attempt to regain his funeral direction license. He will also be required to undergo drug and alcohol testing and any treatment deemed necessary and pay restitution to his victims.
Had the case proceeded to trial, Spatz would have presented evidence and testimony to prove that O’Donnell bilked clients out of thousands of dollars while operating the Neponset Avenue funeral home founded by his grandfather. O’Donnell was first licensed as a funeral director in 1980 but in 2008 failed to renew his license as required by law. Between February of 2009 and November 2011, he oversaw the funeral, burial, or cremation of at least 201 individuals.
During that time he also entered into pre-need contracts with clients – many of whom were elderly and disabled – who planned and provided payment for their final expenses. Rather than placing those prepayments into a trust to be used upon the individual’s death, O’Donnell deposited the funds into his funeral home’s general account. When the funeral home was foreclosed on in 2013, O’Donnell had 31 pre-need contracts with clients who were still living but whose funds – totaling nearly $150,000 – were gone, prosecutors said.
O’Donnell additionally forged the signatures of medical examiners and other professionals on various documents, including death certificates and certificates of cremation, and entered false information on some death certificates.
During the course of their investigation into O’Donnell’s illegal practices, investigators obtained a warrant to search a Weymouth storage unit, where they discovered the decomposing remains of 12 people that had been transported to the facility from the Dorchester funeral home. Through the course of an exhaustive investigation, Suffolk prosecutors and Boston Police were able to identify all 12 individuals and locate family for 11 of them. Of those 11 families, eight had received cremated remains that O’Donnell represented were those of their loved ones, but which investigators determined were someone else’s.
Several of O’Donnell’s victims and their survivors delivered impact statements to the court before O’Donnell’s sentence was handed down.
“My family entrusted you to cremate my mother, which would allow us to spread her ashes at her beloved place, which we did. Knowing that she was free from suffering and in a special place, we felt at peace. That peace was short lived due to your complete and selfish acts. If we hadn’t lived through this nightmare I wouldn’t believe it – one can’t even make this unforgivable act up. The ashes we spread were not those of my mother as her body was rotting away in a storage facility in Weymouth,” the daughter of one victim told the court. “My family released ashes. We prayed and cried and wished her peace, but it was not my mother we said goodbye to. Do you even know who it was? Or how it haunts me that someone will never get the ashes of their loved one?”
O’Donnell was represented by attorney Andrew Stockwell-Alpert. A restitution hearing will be scheduled at a later date.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
BOSTON, Sept. 22, 2015—A Suffolk Superior Court jury today convicted a livery cab driver of kidnapping, raping, and stealing from a female passenger last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Jurors deliberated for approximately three hours before finding SAID SAID (D.O.B. 2/3/74) a.k.a HASHI K. SAID of Quincy guilty of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, indecent assault and battery, assault and battery, larceny from a person, and improper use of a credit card over $250. He faces sentencing Oct. 1. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 21, 2015—The South End man linked by DNA evidence to a series of sexual assaults has been charged in a nine-count indictment for the four attacks on women during a four-year period, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
The Suffolk County Grand Jury today returned nine indictments charging ALEJANDRO DONE (D.O.B. 9/13/86) of the South End with:
BOSTON, Sept. 21, 2015— A Westwood man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the Fenway area was held without bail pending the outcome of a dangerousness hearing later this week, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
MICHAEL PURPURA (D.O.B. 06/22/79) was arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court today on a charge of aggravated rape for a Sept. 15 assault in the area of Queensberry Street. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Corke of the DA’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Unit, Judge David Poole ordered that Purpura be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing under Chapter 276, Section 58A, of the Massachusetts General Laws, which allows a judge to hold a defendant accused of certain offenses without bail for up to 90 days pending trial upon “clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.” That hearing is scheduled to take place at 2:00 p.m. Thursday. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 21, 2015—The mother of 2-year-old Bella Bond was held on $1 million dollars’ cash bail as an accessory after the fact to her murder, and the woman’s boyfriend was ordered held without bail for the murder itself, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Dorchester Municipal Court Judge Thomas Kaplanes imposed the bail orders at the arraignments of MICHAEL PATRICK McCARTHY (D.O.B. 5/29/80) of Quincy and RACHELLE DEE BOND (D.O.B. 7/25/75) of Dorchester on the request of Assistant District Attorney David Deakin, chief of the DA’s Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 18, 2015–Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today delivered the following remarks on the identification of Bella Bond, known only as “Baby Doe” after her body was found in a trash bag almost three months ago, and charges against two defendants:
“Her name was Bella.
“Based on interviews and evidence recovered pursuant to multiple search warrants during the past 24 hours, the child we knew as Baby Doe has been identified as Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond. She was about two and a half years old when she died, and a resident of Dorchester. Pending DNA comparisons are still necessary for scientific certainty, but we are extremely confident in this identification.
“85 days ago, Bella’s body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island. We hoped against hope that her death was not a crime, but the evidence carefully and professionally gathered by the men and women with me today suggests otherwise – this child, whose very name means beauty, was murdered.
“In light of that evidence, I have authorized the arrest of MICHAEL PATRICK McCARTHY, age 35, for Bella’s murder. McCarthy is currently hospitalized for a medical condition unrelated to this case.
“Bella’s mother, RACHELLE DEE BOND, age 40, has been placed under arrest as an accessory after the fact to her murder.
“Based on the facts and evidence developed thus far, which are consistent with the Medical Examiner’s findings, we allege that McCarthy caused Bella’s death, that he did so intentionally, and that he and Bond took specific steps to keep Bella’s death a secret and avoid prosecution.
“We expect both defendants to be arraigned in Monday in Dorchester Municipal Court.
“At just shy of three years old, Bella Bond was a true innocent. And the tragedy of her death is compounded by the fact that her short life ended not by illness or accident but, we believe, an act of violence in the very place she should have been safest – her home.
“Sadly, this is the case for too many victims of child abuse whose tiny voices are silenced. But we will speak on her behalf and seek justice for the crime that took her life.
“The men and women with me today left no stone unturned toward that end. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin, the chief of our Family Protection and Sexual Assault Unit; Colonel Richard McKeon, Det. Lt. Jack Lannon, and the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit; and Chief Terence Delehanty and the detectives of the Winthrop Police Department.
“I want to thank the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their non-stop assistance and contributions to the case.
“And I especially want to thank the Boston Police Department. Homicide detectives received the critical tip that led to a marathon of investigative work over the past 24 hours that brought us to this point.
“I want to thank you, the media, as well, for covering the search for this child’s identity so faithfully. Every step we took as investigators was magnified and enhanced by the work that reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers put in. The same goes for everyone who linked, shared, or tweeted our calls for assistance – we could never have knocked on 50 million doors, but we had the equivalent of that reach thanks to social media.
“But I also want to note that this isn’t then end of the case – it’s the beginning. And in deference to the rules of criminal procedure, we are sharply limited in what we say at this early stage, before the defendants have even been arraigned. I ask you to bear this in mind because there’s a great deal we can’t say at this point, but before we take any questions I’d like to give Col. McKeon, Chief Delehanty, and Commissioner Evans a chance to speak.”
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
BOSTON, Sept. 14, 2015—The man accused of stabbing 29-year-old Sean Dwyer to death outside his Dorchester barbershop was arraigned on a murder indictment today, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
DOMINIC SHINER (D.O.B. 1/6/82) was arraigned on one count of first-degree murder in connection with Dwyer’s Dec. 12, 2014, homicide. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Julie Higgins, Clerk Anne Kaczmarek ordered him held without bail pending trial. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 8, 2015—The young man found with fatal stab wounds on Constitution Beach yesterday has been identified as 15-year-old Wilson Martinez of East Boston, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
State Police homicide detectives assigned to Conley’s office are investigating Martinez’ death after his body was discovered yesterday morning. The Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit is assigned because Constitution Beach is State property overseen by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 8, 2015—The man serving a life sentence for murdering 28-year-old Jeff Santiago as he lay wounded on the floor of a Chelsea strip club in 2008 will not receive a new trial, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
The Supreme Judicial Court today issued a decision affirming the 2010 first-degree murder conviction of JESSE CAMACHO (D.O.B. 5/7/87) of East Boston in Santiago’s shooting death and the non-fatal shootings of another man and an employee of King Arthur’s Lounge after a physical altercation prompted by an associate of Santiago. more »
BOSTON, Sept. 7, 2015–State Police detectives assigned to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office are investigating an apparent fatal stabbing on Constitution Beach this morning.
The Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit — along with uniformed troopers from the Revere barracks, the Crime Scene Services Section, Marine Unit, and other State Police assets — responded to an area of the beach near the East Boston Yacht Club after a passerby observed the body of an adult male near the waterline. more »