SJC Affirms Convictions in Hyde Park Double Murder

BOSTON, May 5, 2017—The convictions of two men for the gruesome 2011 murders of Billie Kee and Kevin Thomas, Jr., in their Hyde Park Avenue apartment were affirmed today by the state’s highest court, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

MICHAEL CORBIN (D.O.B. 11/10/70) and EARL FULGIAM (D.O.B. 4/14/80), both of Mattapan, were convicted after a nine-day trial of two counts of first-degree murder under all three theories of murder – deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony murder – as well as armed robbery and various firearm offenses. They were sentenced to two consecutive life terms each after evidence established that they bound the victims in the course of a July 27, 2011, armed robbery, then repeatedly stabbed and shot them to death.

Billie Marie Kee, 24

Billie Marie Kee, 24

On appeal, Corbin and Fulgiam challenged the admission of certain cell phone records and fingerprint evidence.

Pursuant to the prevailing law at the time of the investigation, Boston Police detectives obtained a court order for the cell site location and other information for Corbin’s and Fulgiam’s phones. That law required “specific and articulable facts showing … reasonable grounds to believe that that the contents of a wire or electronic communication, or the records or other information sought, are relevant and material to an ongoing investigation” in order to obtain a 2703(d) order, named after the relevant federal law.

The high court rejected Fulgiam’s claim that investigators had not made the showing necessary to introduce cell site location information showing that his phone had connected with a cell tower directly behind the victims’ apartment six times on the night of the murders, including one at the same time neighbors awoke to the sound of gunshots there.

Corbin did not challenge the use of his phone’s cell site location information, but argued that the 2703(d) application did not establish the probable cause necessary for a search warrant, which the high court today ruled was the appropriate mechanism by which to obtain his text messages.

Police and prosecutors have regularly used search warrants to obtain such records in the years since this investigation, an evolution of standard procedure predating today’s decision, and the court ruled that the text message evidence, admitted by the trial judge without challenge from Corbin’s trial attorney, did not create a risk of a miscarriage of justice.

Kevin Thomas, 32

Kevin Thomas, 32

“[B]ased on evidence wholly independent of the text messages, Corbin’s involvement in the murders was not a close question,” Justice Geraldine Hines wrote, citing his fingerprint on a curling iron from which a cord was used to bind one of the victims and his close telephonic contact with Fulgiam and Thomas in the hours preceding the murders.

Corbin and Fulgiam also argued that the State Police fingerprint cards that provided a link between latent prints on crime scene evidence and the defendants’ previously documented fingerprints should not have been admitted as business records. The court rejected this claim, finding that “the identifying information on the cards is reliable and brings the identifying evidence reflected on the ten-print card within the scope of the business records exception to the hearsay rule.” The weight given to that evidence is for the jury to decide, the court found.

Chief Trial Counsel John Pappas tried the case with Assistant District Attorney Zachary Hillman, who argued the case before the SJC. Katherine Moran was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate.




All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.