First Alleged Murderer of 2013 Due in Court

A year after allegedly committing the first murder of 2013 in Boston, a Brighton man is due in court the end of January. Brian MacDonald, 25, pleaded innocent to fatally stabbing 21-year-old Anthony Spaulding at a New Year’s house party at 48 Pratt Street last year, after an argument between the two escalated into a brawl.

Spaulding was sent to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with at least five stab wounds. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

The argument began when Spaulding came out of his bedroom in the Allston apartment and told MacDonald to quiet down, according to police reports. MacDonald and his girlfriend were invited guests at the party.

A fight soon broke out between the two men. They tumbled down a stairwell and moved the brawl outside. Both men were covered in blood by the time a witness separated them.

A surveillance camera captured MacDonald’s image fleeing the scene, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. Police also followed a trail of blood that led to his Washington street home in Brighton. MacDonald suffered a gash to his hand that required stitches.

MacDonald was arraigned and held on $500,000 bail on a second-degree murder charge.

MacDonald’s lawyer says the stabbing was in self-defense. Witnesses say that Spaulding may have been the first aggressor, according to court documents. A toxicology report indicated that Spaulding had cocaine, alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time. Spaulding’s medical history reveals he had bipolar disorder, which the defense believes made him more aggressive.

Released by the Suffolk County district attorney’s office on Jan. 2, 2013:

BOSTON, Jan. 2, 2013—A Brighton man is charged with murder for allegedly stabbing 21-year-old Anthony Spaulding to death during a New Year’s Eve party at the victim’s Allston home, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

BRIAN MacDONALD (D.O.B. 4/7/88) was arraigned on that charge today in Brighton District Court, where Assistant District Attorney Holly Broadbent recommended that he be held without bail. Judge David T. Donnelly set bail at $500,000 cash.

Broadbent told the court that Boston Police responded to Spaulding’s Pratt Street residence just before 2:45 yesterday morning for a call reporting a person stabbed. On arrival, they found Spaulding unconscious and suffering from apparent stab wounds. Spaulding was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

Officers and detectives began interviewing witnesses, who told them that the victim resided at the Pratt Street scene and that the assailant and his girlfriend were guests at a party there.

Witnesses said that Spaulding exited his bedroom and told MacDonald to quiet down a short time after they arrived. This led to an almost immediate physical altercation between the two men, Broadbent said. In the course of that altercation, Spaulding and MacDonald tumbled down the stairs from the building’s second floor to the first floor.

The two men went outside, the evidence suggests, where they were the only two men at the scene. A bystander separated the two and observed blood on both of them, Broadbent told the court.

While it was not immediately clear who threw the first punch in the underlying fisticuffs, there was no evidence that Spaulding armed himself before or during the incident, prosecutors say. Witnesses did tell investigators that they had seen MacDonald with a knife at the party before the fight.

While some responding officers spoke to witnesses, others began following a blood trail that led away from the scene. Investigators soon learned MacDonald’s identity by name and appearance and found that he lived at a Washington Street address where the blood trail ended. When taken into custody by Boston Police, he had injuries to his face and hand. Surveillance imagery from a nearby camera shows him fleeing the scene on foot, Broadbent said.

Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. MacDonald is represented by attorney Thomas Hoopes. He will return to court on Feb. 7.

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

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