South Boston murder victim’s son testifies in Timothy Kostka trial

By Aneri Pattani

In Suffolk Superior Court Thursday, Richard Coyne recalled the last few interactions he had with his mother, Barbara Coyne, before the 67-year-old was murdered in her South Boston home in 2012.

Timothy Kostka, a 30-year-old South Boston man, is being charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Richard Coyne ran the Boston Marathon for 20 years, but on Marathon Monday in 2012, he wasn’t making his way toward the finish line at Boylston Street. Instead, he was holding a towel to his mother’s throat, trying to stop the blood that was flowing from a stab wound.

“The night before [the marathon], my mother said it was too hot and she told me not to run,” Richard Coyne recalled.

The next morning, April 16, began routinely for the family. Richard Coyne came down from his third-floor apartment in the family’s triple-decker and had coffee with his mother.

A few hours later, just after 10 a.m., he returned to the first-floor apartment to find his mother lying face down on the floor of her bedroom.

“I thought she was plugging something in,” Coyne testified in court. “When I got close, I saw the blood.”

Coyne said he rushed to grab a towel and call 911. He used the towel to put pressure on his mother’s wound until the paramedics arrived.

He tried to question her about the attack, but “by the time I got to the third question, she couldn’t talk anymore,” Coyne said. Barbara Coyne was having difficulty breathing, Richard Coyne recalled, his voice wavering as he tried to hold back tears on the witness stand.

Barbara Coyne was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead later that day.

Prosecutors allege that Kostka, a family friend of the Coynes who lived a few blocks away, entered the East 7th Street home the morning of April 16, 2012, and killed Coyne.

Kostka’s defense team highlighted inconsistencies in Richard Coyne’s story about what his mother said after the attack. In a police interview, Coyne reportedly said his mother described the attacker as a big man, yet Coyne did not recall those details in Thursday’s testimony, the defense pointed out.

The trial is set to resume Friday morning in Suffolk Superior Court.

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