Slayings Same Day Boston Names New Commissioner

Jan. 9 marked the first two homicides of 2014, the same day Mayor Martin Walsh appointed Boston police veteran William Evans as the department’s commissioner.

William Earl, 20, pleaded innocent to fatally stabbing Samuel Constant, 19, on Margaretta Drive in Hyde Park. A witness told the Boston Globe that Earl stabbed Constant during an argument.

I killed someone and that’s what you’re going to find,” Earl said to a responding officer, according to police reports.

Earl was placed in custody and taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for minor injuries.

I just want to know if he is dead,” Earl said to an officer who remained with him at the hospital, according to police reports.

Earl was held without bail and a probable cause hearing is set for Feb. 10.

Later that night in Roslindale, 18-year-old Brandon John was shot several times on the street and pronounced dead at the scene. Police are continuing to investigate for suspects and motives.

There is no indication that the shooting was linked to the Hyde Park stabbing, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Released by the Suffolk County district attorney’s office on Jan. 10, 2014:

Man, 20, Charged in Fatal Hyde Park Stabbing
BOSTON, Jan. 10, 2014—A Mattapan man was held without bail today in the fatal stabbing of a 19-year-old male on Margaretta Drive yesterday evening, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

WILLIAM EARL (D.O.B. 8/9/93) was arraigned on one count of murder for the slaying. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Tara Burdman, West Roxbury Municipal Court Judge Ernest Sarason ordered Earl held without bail.

Burdman told the court that Boston Police responded to the scene at about 6:00 to find the victim deceased at the scene and Earl being detained by security guards. The defendant, who was suffering from minor injuries, was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for treatment. Based on witness interviews and his own statements to investigators, Earl was placed under arrest.

The victim has been tentatively identified, but his name is not being released until it can be confirmed and his family can be fully notified.

The Margaretta Drive homicide is not believed to be related to a fatal shooting on Rowe Street in Roslindale about five hours later. The victim in that case has likewise been identified but family notifications are still under way.

The public’s help is essential in identifying violent offenders and proving their guilt in court. Anyone with information on either of last night’s homicides is asked to contact Boston Police homicide detectives at 617-343-4470.

Earl was represented today by attorney Kelli Porges. He will return to court on Feb. 10.

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