Archives For Homicide


Measure called most comprehensive in a generation

AP Photo

BOSTON — An overhaul of the state’s domestic violence laws, including new bail guidelines and tougher penalties for abusers, unanimously cleared the Massachusetts House on Tuesday amid concerns from defense attorneys that the bill was hastily drafted and overly broad.

The measure, called the most comprehensive domestic violence legislation in a generation by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, was approved 142-0 and now goes to the Senate.

DeLeo said in introducing the bill with Attorney General Martha Coakley last week that it was spurred by the brutal stabbing death in Waltham of Jennifer Martel, allegedly at the hands of Jared Remy, the son of popular Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.

Jared Remy, who has pleaded not guilty, was arrested one day after his release from custody on charges of assaulting Martel, and the case prompted questions about whether Remy’s violent history had been overlooked by the criminal justice system.

Among the many provisions in the bill is one that would require domestic assault suspects to be held for at least six hours after an arrest to allow time for a safety plan to be developed for the accuser. Bail commissioners would also be required to submit a written assessment of the safety risk a defendant might pose before release is granted.

“Victims often feel that they are neglected in the process, that they don’t have a say,” said state Rep. Christopher Markey, D-Dartmouth, during Tuesday’s debate. “I think this bill empowers victims to be able to do things they have never been able to do before.”

The measure also seeks to provide judges and prosecutors with the most complete information available about a defendant, including any prior domestic violence charges or restraining orders in one or several jurisdictions. DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat, had suggested that if more had been known about Remy’s past record, the  course of events could have changed.

The House bypassed the normal process of referring the bill to a legislative committee process and holding a public hearing, instead taking it up as an amendment to an existing Senate bill.

“My overall concern is that (the bill) is being rushed through without looking at some of the more troublesome aspects of this,” said Liza Lunt, president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

While the group supports several aspects of the proposal, including enhanced training for judges, court officials and prosecutors around domestic violence issues, Lunt said many other provisions go too far.

For example, the six-hour bail provision could be broadly interpreted to apply to family disputes or other cases that fall outside the typical definition of domestic violence, Lunt said.

The organization was also concerned with some of the stiffer penalties included in the bill and a broader definition of domestic violence that could include, as an example, an altercation between two roommates, Lunt said.

The House backed an amendment sought by the Gun Owners Action League that would allow women to purchase pepper spray as protection without first obtaining a firearms identification card.

The debate came two months after the House voted to expel one of its own, then state Rep. Carlos Henriquez of Boston, following his conviction in a domestic violence case. A proposed amendment to the bill calling for the automatic removal of any lawmaker convicted of domestic abuse was ruled unconstitutional by House leaders.


Keith Rosiello charged in slaying of Maureen Rosiello

Keith Rosiello

WORCESTER, Mass. — The trial of a Shrewsbury man charged with fatally beating his wife then not calling police until the next day has started.

Keith Rosiello’s first-degree murder trial started Thursday in Worcester Superior Court with opening statements by prosecutors and defense attorneys.

The prosecutor said the 49-year-old Rosiello killed Maureen Rosiello in February 2010 because their marriage was falling apart and he suspected her of cheating. The next day, before calling police, he allegedly told their two children and his sister to tell police his wife was the aggressor.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that the defense attorney told the jury his client was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killing and became delusional, a state exacerbated by substance abuse.

Testimony was expected to begin Friday.


Jacquan McKenzie charged in murder

LYNN, Mass. — A Lynn teenager charged with a fatal shooting in the city in January has been held without bail. Eighteen-year-old Jacquan McKenzie is charged with killing 29-year-old Hery Aquino on Jan. 12.
McKenzie was previously charged with trespassing, carrying a firearm without a license, and carrying a loaded firearm after being caught fleeing the scene of the shooting, but on Wednesday was charged with murder. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Prosecutors said in court Thursday that McKenzie was charged with murder because gunshot residue from a weapon used in the shooting was found on his clothes. The Daily Item reports that the defendant’s lawyer said at least two guns were used in the shooting and suggested another explanation for the gunshot residue.

By Eli Sherman/Wicked Local

Waltham Police Department

WALTHAM, Mass. — Police have captured one of the two suspects in last week’s fatal shooting of a Waltham teenager, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

Wicked Local reported that police arrested Taylor Poulin, 21, of Newton on Wednesday night in Windham, Maine.

Poulin was wanted in connection with the killing of Waltham High School senior Tyler Zanco, 17, who was found shot in the Gardencrest Apartments parking lot Thursday, March 20.

He was pronounced dead at Newton-Wellesley Hospital that night.

Poulin is slated to be arraigned Friday at 1 p.m. in Portland District Court on fugitive from justice charges.

He faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlicensed possession of a firearm and conspiracy to violate drug laws in connection with the Waltham homicide.

Police were able to track Poulin down in Maine based on information obtained by Waltham Police and state troopers.

If extradition is proven appropriate, he will be taken to Waltham District Court for a second arraignment on the charges he faces in Massachusetts.

The DA’s office wouldn’t speculate on when the Waltham arraignment would happen, but a spokeswoman was certain it wouldn’t be Friday.

Police continue to search for Domingo Mendes, 22, of Belmont, who is also wanted in connection with Zanco’s killing.

Mendes is wanted for murder, possession of a firearm and conspiracy to violate drug laws. He is described as a black man, 5 feet 10 inches in height and about 165 pounds, according to the DA’s office.

Mendes is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees or encounters Mendes is advised to call 911 immediately.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Waltham Police at 781-314-3607 or Massachusetts State Police Detectives at 781-897-6600.


Tyler Zanco, 17, identified as shooting victim

WALTHAM, Mass. — A Waltham High School student was shot to death around 10:00 p.m. Thursday night at the Gardencrest Apartment complex at 31 Middlesex Circle, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office said.

Tyler Zanco, 17, of Waltham, was taken to Newton Wellesley Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The School Department confirmed that Zanco is a high school student, but could not give his grade.  Zanco was a member of the high school wrestling team.

“This is very tragic for the family and the city,” Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy said. “The school department took the appropriate steps for the students and district. My thoughts and prayers are with Tyler’s family.”

No arrests have been made, but the district attorney’s office said that “authorities do not believe this was a random attack.”


The shooting occurred at about 11 p.m. Thursday.

There was a deadly shooting at the Gardencrest Apartments on Middlesex Circle in Waltham at about 11 p.m. Thursday, according to WBZ Jim Armstrong, @JimArmstrongWBZ on Twitter.

“Investigators on scene tell us this is a homicide,” Armstrong tweeted at about 11:45 p.m.

We’ll post more information as it becomes available.


Mark Tomas Regan found hiding in attic, prosecutors say

Pam Cross/WCVB

BOSTON — A West Roxbury man was held without bail Monday after he allegedly shot his father to death in the home they shared.

Mark Tomas Regan, 33, was arraigned in West Roxbury Municipal Court in connection with the fatal shooting of Mark Thomas Regan, 66.

Prosecutors allege police found the victim dead at 105 Perham St. on Friday morning after they were called to the home for a wellness check. Officers allegedly found Mark Tomas Regan hiding in the attic.

The investigation revealed that some of the victim’s co-workers, concerned about his absence from work, visited the home on Wednesday. The defendant allegedly told them that he wasn’t home and was out with friends.

Mark Tomas Regan is currently on probation following a two and a half year house of correction sentence on a conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm and assault with a dangerous weapon.


Police: Timothy Virts may have abducted daughter Caitlyn Marie

Caitlyn Marie Virts

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

BALTIMORE, Md. — An Amber Alert was issued Thursday morning for an 11-year-old girl after police said she disappeared from her Dundalk home where they found her mother dead.

Maryland State Police issued the alert at 10:46 a.m. for Caitlyn Marie Virts. Baltimore County police said Caitlyn was last seen around 7 a.m. at her Dundalk home in the 3100 block of Ardee Way.

Investigators said they were called to that same home around 9:15 a.m. after getting reports of a cardiac arrest. When officers arrived, they said they found a dead woman in the home identified as Bobbie Jo Cortez, 36. Homicide detectives are currently investigating the death.

Police said Cortez is Caitlyn’s mother and that there were two other children, Caitlyn’s twin sister and a boy, who lived in the home who are safe.

Police believe Caitlyn was abducted by her father, Timothy Howard Virts. Detectives are concerned for her safety because she is not supposed to be with him. Police said Cortez recently allowed Timothy Virts to live with them in the house.

Police said Caitlyn is white, 5 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds. Officials didn’t have a description of what she was wearing but said she might be wearing glasses.

Police said Timothy Virts, 38, is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds. The pair might be riding in a black 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland tags 5AJ4458.

Those license plates are registered to Cortez’s husband, Daniel, who police said is in jail on sex offense charges.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to call 911 immediately or Baltimore County police at 410-887-7320. Police stress to not take any action so the girl won’t be in further danger.


Ian Holness accused in death of Rashaan O’Neil

Jim Lokay/WCVB-TV

BOSTON — Police have arrested a suspect in the Christmas Day shooting death of a Boston man.

Authorities say 27-year-old Ian Holness was arrested Wednesday and charged in connection with the Dec. 25 shooting of 34-year-old Rashaan O’Neil at a house party.

Holness is expected to be arraigned Thursday on a murder charge. It could not be determined if he had a lawyer.

Police responded to a Dorchester address at about 4 a.m. Christmas Day for reports of a man shot. O’Neil was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman was also treated for minor injuries sustained from glass debris.

Police said at the time the shooting happened after a fight.


Police say victim was trying to break up fight
Police generic lights sirens

BROCKTON, Mass. — A man has been convicted of killing a Massachusetts high school football star at a house party nearly seven years ago.

Twenty-five-year-old Andre Brewer of Randolph was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree murder and weapons charges after a five-day trial in Brockton Superior Court. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors said Brewer shot 17-year-old Jose Gurley outside a house party in July 2007. Gurley was found lying in the roadway. He died about three hours later at a hospital. Police said Gurley may have been trying to break up a gang fight.

Gurley was a star player on the West Bridgewater High School football team who helped lead the team to a state championship.

Brewer was arrested in 2011 after police said several witnesses identified him. His attorney questioned the evidence.

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