Two brothers have been arrested in connection with the March 2014 slaying of a 23-year-old Dorchester resident after investigators found the DNA of one of them on a knife believed to have been used in the fatal stabbing.
At their arraignment Thursday, Harold Coleman, 26, and Shawn Coleman, 22, of South End were ordered held on $250,000 bail stemming from charges of second-degree murder in Christopher Borgella‘s death.
The elder Coleman also faces charges of two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property. His younger brother, Shawn, faces one additional count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
In the early morning hours of March 1, Boston police responded to reports of a brawl at the DoubleTree Hotel on Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester. Officers were told that a party in one of the hotel rooms had become violent and spilled out onto the street, authorities said.
During the altercation, Harold Coleman allegedly grabbed a detachable steering wheel and attacked two of Borgella’s friends with it. In response, prosecutors say Borgella took out a knife and handed it to a another friend, who threw it at Coleman and his posse before retreating into a car.
Soon after, Coleman began pummeling the vehicle with the steering wheel, both cracking the windshield and shattering the passenger’s side window. The act resulted in another confrontation that left Borgella and second victim suffering multiple stab wounds. Borgella was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he eventually died.
According to prosecutors, authorities recovered a knife from the crime scene that had the victims’ DNA on the blade and Shawn Coleman’s DNA on the handle. Police apprehended the brothers hours after a grand jury handed down indictments against them.
Both men will return to court on Aug. 21, 2014.
A press release from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office below.
July 10, 2014
Brothers Arrested in March Stabbing Death
Grand Jury Investigation Led to Overnight Arrests
(BOSTON) — Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans and today announced the indictments and arrests of two brothers in the March 1 stabbing death of Christopher Borgella outside a Dorchester hotel.
As a result of continued efforts by Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors, the Suffolk County Grand Jury on Tuesday returned indictments charging HAROLD COLEMAN (D.O.B. 3/19/88) of Dorchester and SHAWN COLEMAN (D.O.B. 2/26/92) of Boston’s South End with second-degree murder in the 23-year-old Dorchester man’s slaying. Harold Coleman is additionally charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property; Shawn Coleman is additionally charged with one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
At their arraignment today, Assistant District Attorney Masai King told the court that the defendants, the victim, and others were at a party at the DoubleTree Hotel on Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester on the night of Feb. 28 into March 1. A fight between the defendants’ group and the victims’ group broke out.
After responding to the room multiple times, hotel staff asked the group to leave the premises. The respective groups went outside and became involved in a physical altercation in the parking lot, where Harold Coleman allegedly used a detachable steering wheel to beat two friends of the victim.
In the course of the brawl, King said, Borgella produced a knife but did not use it on anyone. Prosecutors say he gave the knife to a friend, who later threw it at the defendants’ group before he and his own group retreated into a car. Harold Coleman allegedly struck that car with the detachable steering wheel several times, cracking the windshield and shattering the front passenger’s side window.
Harold Coleman and Shawn Coleman allegedly renewed the attack, and it was during this encounter that Borgella sustained multiple stab wounds that would claim his life at Boston Medical Center. Another victim sustained a stab wound that was not life-threatening; investigators believe he was unarmed at the time.
In addition to gathering witness statements, investigators recovered a knife from the scene of the incident. Testing by Boston Police criminalists revealed that it contained three DNA profiles – those of Borgella and the surviving victim on the blade, and that of Shawn Coleman on the handle. Investigators obtained warrants for both men on Tuesday after the indictments were returned, and members of the Boston Police Fugitive Unit apprehended both of them within 24 hours.
King recommended that both men be held without bail. Clerk Magistrate Gary D. Wilson imposed $250,000 cash bail for each defendant and ordered them to return to court on Aug. 21 with defense attorneys Jonathan Shapiro and Jack Miller.
Copies of their indictments have been added below.