Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s top homicide prosecutor today gave the most detailed account to date of the murder of Stephanie Moulton, a 25-year-old counselor at a Revere group home, at the hands of a resident.
The Suffolk County Grand Jury yesterday returned an indictment charging DESHAWN JAMES CHAPPELL (D.O.B. 9/9/83) with first-degree murder for Moulton’s death earlier this year. Chappell was arraigned on that charge late this morning in Suffolk Superior Court.
“On Jan. 20, 2011, the defendant stabbed Stephanie Moulton inside a residential home at 110 Ocean Ave. in Revere,” said Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin. “The location was a North Suffolk Mental Health facility residential home at which the defendant was a resident and Ms. Moulton was a worker.”
Zabin said the two were alone in the building when he attacked her.
“The defendant and Ms. Moulton were scheduled to go to a meeting outside Revere with a second employee of North Shore Mental Health,” Zabin said. “The second case worker made several attempts to reach Ms. Moulton but was unsuccessful.”
When that worker arrived at the Ocean Avenue facility, Zabin said, the fire alarm was ringing, the building smelled of smoke, and “large amounts of blood were inside the building and outside where Ms. Moulton usually parked her car.”
Zabin said the investigation had revealed that Chappell stabbed Moulton “multiple times” in the building’s basement, dragged her body to her car, and drove to Lynn, where he deposited her remains in the parking lot of St. George’s Church on South Common Street.
“She had been stabbed multiple times in the throat area,” Zabin said, “transecting both her jugular vein and carotid artery. Her pants and underwear were around her ankles as she lay in the parking lot.”
Chappell drove Moulton’s car into the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, called on family members to ask for money, and later stole clothing to replace the bloodied clothes he’d been wearing, Zabin said.
State Police homicide detectives assigned to Conley’s office arrested him that night at a family member’s Roxbury home. They were assisted by the Boston Police Department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center, Revere Police, Lynn Police, and State Police assigned to the Essex County District Attorney’s office. Chappell’s hands were swabbed at Revere Police Headquarters and found to have human blood on his hands, Zabin said.
After hearing from Dr. Jeffrey Miner, a court clinician who interviewed Chappell today, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano committed the defendant to Bridgewater State Hospital, a secure facility, and ordered him held without bail.
Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Attorney Jeffrey Karp represents the defendant. Chappell’s case will return to court on April 5.