Brothers sentenced in 2014 stabbing death of Christopher Borgella

Two brothers accused of stabbing 23-year-old Christopher Borgella outside the DoubleTree Hotel in Dorchester in 2014 have been convicted of second-degree murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Harold Coleman, 28, and Shawn Coleman, 24, both of the South End, were convicted on Monday, May 16 and sentenced on Tuesday, May 24. A judge sentenced each man to a mandatory life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Harold Coleman was also convicted of malicious destruction of property over $250.

The brothers were arrested in July of 2014 for their role in Borgella’s death in the early morning hours of March 1.

Borgella was with a group of friends at a party inside a room at the DoubleTree, and the Colemans were with another group of friends at the same party. After a fight broke out between the two groups, hotel employees asked them to leave. According to a statement from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office:

Once outside, the two groups became involved in another physical altercation in the hotel parking lot. Evidence proved that the defendants attacked Borgella’s group in the parking lot, with Shawn Coleman wielding a knife and Harold Coleman a detachable steering wheel. Borgella suffered a fatal stab wound in that attack, and another man suffered non-fatal injuries.

At Tuesday’s sentencing, prosecutors read a victim impact statement that Borgella’s mother wrote:

We pride ourselves on being all that we can be to show our kids down all the right paths. My son will never get to pursue his dreams of playing professional basketball, nor will he ever get a chance at marriage, he will never get to have his own children and instill the word of God, education and determination in them as I did in him. Sleepless nights, depression, anxiety all things that have come with this tragedy … my life will never and could never be the same.

Dorchester man identified as city’s latest homicide victim

The man who was fatally shot last Thursday night in Codman Square has been identified.

David Stewart, 22, of Dorchester, was shot around 9:15 p.m. Thursday, May 19, near 87 Southern Ave. Police responded to the scene and emergency responders took Steward, who was known to some of his friends by the nickname David Bones, to Boston Medical Center where he later died.

David Stewart

David Stewart

Stewart is the city’s first homicide victim since March. He was the third person shot in Dorchester on Thursday; two people were shot on Blue Hill Avenue earlier in the evening, and were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Stewart attended South Boston High School, according to his Facebook page. Friends remembered Stewart as a fun-loving person who enjoyed playing basketball.

Police continue to investigate and have not yet made any arrests in connection with the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to contact Boston Police homicide detectives at 617-343-4470. People who prefer to leave anonymous tips can call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or can text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).

Jury acquits Kewon Kelley of first-degree murder

A jury acquitted Kewon Kelley of first-degree murder charges on Monday. Kelley’s is the first homicide trial acquittal in Suffolk County Superior Court this year.

Rayshawn Lamont Few

Rayshawn Lamont Few

Kelley, 29, of Plymouth, was charged with the shooting death of Rayshawn Few, a 27-year-old father who reportedly tried to diffuse an argument outside a party on Feb. 17, 2013. Few was shot in the head and collarbone and died at the scene.

The trial lasted about a week and a half. Jurors deliberated one full day before returning their verdict.

Second trial of Phillip Carrington results in conviction

A jury convicted Phillip Carrington, the man who killed Celestine Walker in 2013, of second-degree murder on Tuesday. Carrington was first tried in November, but that trial resulted in a mistrial when jurors declared themselves hopelessly deadlocked after more than seven days of deliberations.

The jury’s verdict and Carrington’s sentencing comes approximately three years to the day of Walker’s death. Carrington, 51, strangled Walker to death in her Jamaica Plain apartment on Heath Street. She was last seen alive on May 11, 2013, which was Mother’s Day. Her body was found May 16, 2013.

Celestine Walker

Celestine Walker

Carrington and Walker had been in a relationship, and Carrington was physically abusive to Walker, prosecutors argued. Walker attempted to hide the abuse from her family.

Walker’s family members testified in court that they confronted Carrington after learning of her death, and after initially denying his involvement, they testified that he told them her murder was an accident.

On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Carrington to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Carrington was also sentenced to jail time for violating a restraining order Walker had taken out against him.

Walker’s daughter addressed the court before Carrington’s sentencing.

“We will forever have to live with the fact that such thoughtless, hateful behavior is what led to another human being losing their life before their time. From this day forth, our family has to battle with constant feelings of loss and loneliness,” she said.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office reminded victims of domestic violence that they should call 911 in an emergency. A statewide domestic violence hotline, SafeLink, is also available at 877-785-2020.

SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as TTY at 877-521- 2601. It also has the capacity to provide multilingual translation in more than 140 languages.

Three men charged with murder for 2014 Mattapan double murder

Three men have been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed two people in 2014.

Teasia Montgomery

Teasia Montgomery

On April 14, Steven Stephen, 26, and Tony Evans, 25, were arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court. Both men were charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in relation to the murder of Clarence McGregor and Teasia Montgomery. Stephen was already in state custody on an unrelated gun charge, and police arrested Evans in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Last week, a third suspect, 29-year-old Lorenzo Jones Jr., was arrested in Augusta, Georgia. He is also charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

McGregor, 25, of Dorchester, and Montgomery, 28, of Medford, were shot early on January 27, 2014 outside 92 Rosewood St. in Mattapan. Police responding to the scene found McGregor lying in the road and Montgomery on the sidewalk, about 15 yards away. Both later died from their injuries at the hospital.

Clarence McGregor

Clarence McGregor

Family members remembered McGregor as an animal lover who also liked working with children. Montgomery had a son and a family friend recalled her  as a sweet woman who was trying to improve her life. Her ex-boyfriend had been killed in Ashmont just hours before Montgomery was shot. Police believed the shootings to be gang-related.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, all three suspects have served time in prison for gun-related convictions in 2008 or 2009.

Investigators identified Stephen, Evans and Jones as suspects through ballistics evidence at the scene, witness statements, cell tower records and other evidence gathered over the past two years, according to the DA’s office. The two victims were targeted, according to prosecutors and police.

Stephen and Evans are set to return to court on May 31. Jones’ arraignment date in Boston has yet to be scheduled, as an unrelated gunshot injury he sustained last year may impact his ability to travel, according to the DA’s statement.

Stepmother charged in murder of Roxbury toddler

Nearly three months after his death, a woman has been charged with the murder of Roxbury toddler Kenai Whyte.

On Sunday, January 31, Boston Police responded to 23 Alpine St. after receiving a 911 call for a “trauma incident.” Emergency responders rushed Whyte to Boston Medical Center, where he died two days later. Whyte died of blunt force trauma to his head and body.

Kenai Whyte

Kenai Whyte

A worker from the Department of Children and Families reportedly checked on Kenai just days before, and he was deemed to be clean, well-fed and with no behavioral issues.

According to his mother, Kenai loved firetrucks, the TV show PAW Patrol, liked to eat donuts, and enjoyed being a big brother.

On March 29, 23-year-old Maria Buie, Kenai’s stepmother, was charged with assault and battery on a child in connection with Kenai’s injuries, which included a fractured vertebra in his neck, and cuts and bruises on his head and body.

On Friday, April 29, Buie was indicted in Suffolk County Superior Court on second-degree murder charges. According to police:

An extensive factual investigation by Boston Police homicide detectives developed evidence and witness statements suggesting that only Buie was alone with the child after others present in the home observed him to be healthy and uninjured.

Buie has twice previously been arrested for assault and battery, according to the Boston Globe. Kenai’s father, Dave Whyte, has been arrested on charges related to domestic violence, and multiple people had taken restraining orders out against him in the past, the Globe reports. A few months before his murder, Kenai’s mother, Ashley Young, tried to alter the custody order that gave Whyte half physical custody of Kenai, but the court kept the ruling in place.

Buie is currently being held on $100,000 cash bail stemming from the assault and battery charges.

As technology evolves, homicide detectives need specialized skills

By Miharu Sugie

It could be 3 a.m. or 10 p.m. The detective could be at his or her child’s birthday party, enjoying a day off. All of that no longer matters when a homicide detective gets a call. Within minutes, detectives are at the crime scene, working behind the yellow caution tape, keeping their ears to the ground and eyes wide open for any evidence that could lead to a suspect.

Until a few decades ago, it was normal to see homicide detectives at the crime scene writing reports by hand, identifying suspects with blood typing and typing out the reports on a typewriter. Now, typewriters and blood typing are replaced by technologically advanced and efficient tools. DNA testing is a standard method of identification. Even something simple as a video footage has been revolutionary in homicide investigations, according to sergeant detective Paul Donovan of the Boston Police Department’s Homicide Unit.

Being a homicide detective requires interpersonal skills and a high level of integrity, said Donovan, a seasoned Boston Police officer who joined the unit as a supervising sergeant detective from 2005 to 2009. Last year, he rejoined the unit as an administrative sergeant.

Boston Police headquarters

Boston Police headquarters

Police departments look for homicide detectives who know court personnel and court procedures and who can interact well with witnesses, the accused, victims, and the district attorney’s office. A high school diploma and professional training have always been the minimum requirement. Recently, however, that has changed.

“The level of technological skill goes well beyond the old days of just speaking to people and taking notes,” said James Alan Fox, a criminology, public policy and law professor at Northeastern University. “Now, this still happens, people take notes, but let me also say that police generally should be educated … and they trend towards more and more departments requiring a minimum of a college degree.”

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Chin sentenced to life in prison for domestic violence murder

A Lynn man who killed his ex-girlfriend in 2013 and dumped her body in an East Boston parking garage, has been sentenced to life in prison.

On Monday, a jury convicted Chhoeut Chin, 43, of the second-degree murder of 32-year-old Sherry Leigh Bradley. A judge sentenced him on Wednesday after Bradley’s daughter delivered a victim impact statement to the court.

Chin and Bradley, who also lived in Lynn, had been in an abusive relationship in the spring and summer of 2013. Trial testimony revealed that Chin threatened, harassed and abused Bradley, and began stalking her and waiting outside the home where she moved in late July. Sherry_Bradley

On the night of July 31, Bradley was hanging out in her home with a friend when she left to get food, but never returned. On the morning of Aug. 1, a blue Mazda entered an East Boston parking garage, and .

Although investigators were never able to establish where Bradley was murdered, they built a case around Chin that included surveillance video footage, witness statements and cellphone records. Officials ruled Bradley’s death a homicide in 2014, and Chin was indicted for her murder.

In court, Bradley’s daughter, who is now 16 years old, called Chin an “evil man” and recalled the pain of burying her mother.

No child should have to see her mother like that,” the girl said. “I try my hardest to make my mom proud. It was not her time. It was too soon.”

A second-degree murder conviction comes with a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 or more years. Judge Jeffrey Lock set Chin’s parole eligibility at 20 years.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley reminds victims of domestic abuse and violence that they should call 911 in an emergency, but there are also other resources available:

SafeLink, a statewide DV hotline, can be reached at 877-785-2020. SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as TTY at 877-521-2601. It also has the capacity to provide multilingual translation in more than 140 languages.

Perez re-arraigned for 2013 murder after key witness returns

By Alec Cheung

The man accused of killing Edward Villalona in March of 2013 has been re-arraigned on murder charges.

Yerri Perez, 24, was ordered held without bail after a Friday indictment for the first-degree murder of Villalona, who was shot and killed on March 31, 2013, which was also Easter day. 

Yerri Perez

Yerri Perez

Perez was first arrested in August of 2013, charged with shooting Villalona to death. Yet a key witness to the crime left the country before Perez was set to go on trial. In December, the trial was pushed back once more, and at a hearing in January, the DA’s office withdrew their indictment. Spokesman Jake Wark told Homicide Watch Boston that prosecutors had “every intention of moving forward with the case,” and investigators from the DA’s office worked to locate the witness through the winter.

The “previously missing” witness returned to Massachusetts recently, and Perez was indicted again on Friday.

During the indictment, Perez’s defense attorney, Rosemary Scapicchio, cited specific legal rules and said that due to  “speedy trial issues,” the indictment should not be happening and that the whole trial should be voided.

“We were ready to go to trial much earlier, they weren’t, and now they’re indicting him on the same charges,” Scapicchio said after the indictment. “It’s a serious violation on Mr. Perez’s constitutional rights.”

Prosecutors argued that Perez should be held without bail due to an “overwhelming amount of evidence,” which included a physical description of Perez by eyewitnesses, eyewitness testimony of his appearance in a white Ford Flex, the same car the suspect fled the crime scene from, as well as witness testimony of Perez’s reaction to the victim’s death. “That’s what b***h n****** get,” Perez allegedly said after Villalona’s death.

Scapicchio further argued that the defendant should not be held at all since he did not try to flee the country after he was let out on bail, and that he had met every single court appearance to date. Perez is also facing unrelated heroin trafficking charges in Suffolk Superior Court.

Although a specific trial date was not set, prosecutors and the defense agreed to set the date before April 17, 2017.

Second suspect arrested for Mission Hill murder

Police have arrested a second man in connection with the December murder of D’Andre King-Settles, the 17-year-old shot and killed on Annunciation Road.

The shooting happened around 4 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2015 around a playground near the apartment complex where King-Settles lived with his family. At the time of the incident, a witness described seeing multiple people around King-Settles body after the shooting.

D'Andre King-Settles

D’Andre King-Settles

In late February, members of the Boston Police fugitive unit, along with members of the Randolph Police Department, arrested 17-year-old Tsunami Ortiz and charged him with murder. At his arraignment, prosecutors alleged that Ortiz, and another suspect who was not named, stalked and killed King-Settles.

Officers arrested that second suspect last Thursday, March 31. Enrique Auch, 18, of Revere, after spotting him in Jamaica Plain. Friday, Auch was arraigned in Roxbury District Court on multiple charges, including murder, armed assault to murder, and multiple firearm-related charges. He was ordered held without bail.

The Suffolk County District Attorney told the Globe he expects to arraign Auch in Suffolk Superior Court on the murder charge.