Thursday, 4:30 PM
Bat used as weapon in Needham slaying, prosecutors say
(Robert E. Klein for The Boston Globe)
William B. Dunn was arraigned today in Dedham District Court.
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
Prosecutors confirmed today in court that a baseball bat was the weapon used in an attack Friday in a Needham basement that killed a 78-year-old man and sent his daughter-in-law to the hospital with severe head trauma.
Dressed in a blue prison jumpsuit, William B. Dunn, 41, kept his head bowed during his brief arraignment in Dedham District Court. Norfolk assistant district attorney Michele Armour told the court that Dunn had been installing a lawn sprinkler system at the home of Robert J. Moore Sr. when there was a confrontation. Dunn grabbed a baseball bat, Armour said, and beat Moore and his daughter-in-law, Nancy Moore. Armour did not say what sparked the alleged attack.
Dunn pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was ordered held without bail, and is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 13.
Dunn's attorney, Robert Griffin, spoke briefly with reporters outside court and rebuffed questions about an insanity defense, saying only, "I'm not ruling anything out."
The Globe reported Sunday that Dunn was voluntarily committed to the psychiatric ward of Norwood Caritas Carney Hospital in August after making paranoid statements to his wife, according to a missing person report his wife filed with Norwood police.
Griffin said today that to his knowledge Dunn did not have a prior history of violence. He added that his client’s family was devastated.
Judge Patricia Kurtin sealed the court file so no other details came to light about the slaying that upended Needham, a quiet town in Boston's western suburbs that had not had a homicide since 1989. A manhunt for Dunn was complicated Friday when employees of a pizzeria in Needham Square reported that a jittery man who may be armed had entered the restaurant. That report led town and State Police to essentially shut down the town center and deploy SWAT teams to rooftops.
Police arrested Hillel Neuer at gunpoint and charged him with disorderly conduct. Neuer is the executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch and was in Boston to deliver a speech.
In another courtroom this morning, Clerk Magistrate Salvatore Paterna dismissed the charges against Neuer, saying he reviewed police reports and found no probable cause.
After charges were dropped, attorney David G. Eisenstadt read a statement to reporters that said Neuer was "victimized" and "traumatized" by his arrest and that his reputation had been tarnished.