Thursday, 4:30 PM
Men accused of Levin murder held without bail
(George Rizer/Globe Staff)
A standing-room-only crowd in Dorchester Municipal Court watched the arraignment today of Casimiro Barros, 20, Manuel Andrade, 33. Prosecutors allege that Chiara Levin, 22, was killed in the crossfire on March 24 when the two men got in a gunfight.
By Maria Cramer and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
The man charged with firing the errant bullet that killed Chiara Levin in March was chasing another man who had just shot someone inside an after-hours house party in Dorchester, a prosecutor said today in Dorchester Municipal Court.
As partygoers scattered, Casimiro Barros, 20, ran out of the Geneva Avenue home early on March 24 and fired several shots, hitting his target, Manuel Andrade, 33, once in the leg, said Edmond Zabin, an assistant district attorney. It appears that one of the bullets missed Andrade and struck Levin in the head as she was sitting in a Cadillac Escalade outside, Zabin said during the arraignment today of Barros and Andrade on charges in connection with Levin's death.
While police are still investigating who fired the fatal shot, the evidence suggests that it was Barros, Zabin said. Under Massachusetts law, all armed participants of a shootout are culpable if someone is killed.
Both men were arraigned on murder, assault, and other charges in Dorchester today in a courthouse under heavy security. The two defendants did not appear in the courtroom that included 10 police officers, but they listened to the brief proceeding from behind a door. Not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf.
Andrade of Dorchester and Barros of Roxbury were both ordered held without bail until their next court appearance on June 1.
Levin, 22, of Danville, Ky., was visiting Boston for a relative's birthday party when she was shot and killed. Her death heightened outrage over violence in the city. A string of people have been killed in little more than a month in an area of Dorchester less than a mile square. Boston has had 19 slayings this year, compared with 14 at this time last year, police said. Arrests have been made in only four of this year's cases, including Levin's killing, because witnesses have often been reluctant to cooperate, police said.
When police announced the arrests of Andrade and Barros on Saturday, they credited the help of witnesses at the party who had come forward.
According to police and prosecutors, Levin had met Andrade and two of his friends earlier at Caprice Restaurant and Lounge, a popular nightclub in Boston's Theater District. At closing time, Andrade invited Levin and two male friends to a party in his Dorchester neighborhood.
An argument broke out at the party shortly before 4 a.m. as Levin and her friends were trying to leave. Andrade taunted Barros and his group of associates and shot one of his friends in the torso, Zabin said today in court. Police have not identified the man who was shot.
Andrade had offered Levin and her friends a ride home, and they were waiting in the Cadillac when people started running out of the house after the shooting. Andrade stood next to the car and allegedly traded shots with Barros, who stood in front of the house. Levin was killed by a single bullet to the head.