Devone Suber questions police tactics in arrest

Devone Suber, 27, waved politely to the judge as he entered a Suffolk Superior Court room on Jan. 23 to argue that police illegally searched him prior to his arrest.

Suber is accused of fatally shooting Maiqui Hernandez, a Harvard University security guard, last May.

Police arrested him hours after he allegedly shot Hernandez, a 35-year-old father of two, in the hallway of the Prentiss Street apartment where Hernandez lived, according to a statement from the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors claim that Suber left the apartment complex after arguing with Hernandez shortly before 1 a.m. on May 3. He returned less than an hour later with a gun, opened Hernandez’s apartment door and shot him in the chest, the district attorney’s office said.

In a June 4 statement, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said the crime “shocks the conscience.”

“The argument was over. The conflict was finished. And yet the evidence suggests he came back and shot this man who posed no threat and offered no reason to hurt him,” he said.

Suber sat quietly throughout the short hearing on Thursday while his attorney, Eduardo A. Masferrer, filed a motion claiming that police violated Suber’s rights when they searched him and his car without a warrant. Masferrer is seeking to suppress all evidence gleaned from those searches.

In an affidavit filed alongside the motion, Suber said that on May 3 he was walking along Annunciation Road in the South End when a police cruiser pulled alongside him.

Two officers got out of the car and asked him for his name and identification, according to Suber’s affidavit.

Based on the officers’ demeanor and language, “I did not think I could simply walk away,” Suber wrote.

The officers patted down his jacket and found a box of ammunition, which Suber claimed he had found in Mattapan. Officers then searched his car without his consent,, the affidavit said.

Suber wrote that he was taken to a police station and officers read him his rights from a police form that he did not understand.

I tried to explain that to them,” Suber wrote in the affidavit. “I genuinely did not understand what they were telling me about my rights.”

Suber’s lawyer, Masferrer, said his client denies any wrongdoing and is upset at the charges.

Suber, who is currently being held at Suffolk County Jail, is charged with first-degree Murder, armed assault with intent to murder and various firearm charges.

In court filings, prosecutors alleged that on May 3 Suber also assaulted a female victim with a gun. It was not immediately clear whether that alleged assault was part of the same incident that led to Hernandez’s death.

Suber pleaded innocent to all charges at his arraignment July 17.

He is being tried as an armed career criminal, a status that could carry a longer sentence if he is convicted, according to court documents.

Court records show that in August 2007 Suber was convicted of aggravated assault and battery and in December 2005 he was convicted of possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute.

The following is a press statement from the Suffolk district attorney’s office:

BOSTON, June 4, 2013—Maiqi Hernandez, a 35-year-old father of two and a security guard at Harvard University, was shot dead by a man angry over their earlier exchange of words, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said today.

DEVONE SUBER (D.O.B. 2/4/86) was arraigned on a murder charge today, almost exactly one month after he allegedly shot Hernandez to death from the hallway of the Prentiss Street apartment building in which the victim lived.

Suber has been in custody since a short time after the May 3 slaying – Boston Police investigating the shooting arrested him with a box of live bullets leaving the nearby Annunciation Road housing development. Prosecutors recommended he be held on $25,000 cash bail at his May 3 arraignment for unlawful possession of ammunition; bail was set at $3,500. Today, prosecutors asked that he be held without bail given the upgrade in charges, and Judge David Poole granted that request.

Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin, chief of the DA’s Homicide Unit, told the court that Suber and Hernandez had a brief verbal altercation in the building prior to the shooting, and that Suber left the scene and came back with a gun. At about 12:40 that morning, he allegedly opened the victim’s apartment door and shot Hernandez in the chest, killing him.

“It shocks the conscience,” Conley said. “The argument was over. The conflict was finished. And yet the evidence suggests he came back and shot this man who posed no threat and offered no reason to hurt him.”

Multiple Boston Police units responded to the scene and received a description of the assailant. Officers soon spotted Suber, who matched that description, in the area of Annunciation Road, about a block away from the crime scene. When they pulled up to speak with him, he allegedly made the spontaneous statement that “I found it. It’s not mine. I found it in Mattapan.”

The officers pat-frisked him and recovered a box containing 45 live rounds of .357 caliber ammunition. That ammunition shared the same class characteristics of the round that killed Hernandez, Zabin said.

Suber was represented by attorney Eduardo Masferrer. He will return to court on July 19.



A copy of Suber’s indictment has been added below.

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