Saturday, 2:15 PM
Boy, 13, accused in killing and burning of half brother, 16
(AP Photo/The Cape Cod Times, Steve Heaslip)
The pit where the burned body of Jordan Mendes was discovered on Tuesday.
By John R. Ellement and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
HYANNIS -- An eighth-grader has been accused of taking part in killing his 16-year-old half brother and burning his body during an armed robbery of $10,000 in alleged drug money, according to a defense attorney for the boy.
A Barnstable police booking photo of Robert Vacher, 20.
The 13-year-old is one of three suspects accused of killing Jordan Mendes, whose charred body was discovered shot and stabbed in woods here on Tuesday, according to his defense attorney, Robert L. Jubinville, and several relatives of the boy. The half brother is accused of supplying a weapon to a 20-year-old who allegedly committed the slaying.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe would not confirm whether the half brother had been arrested when he announced earlier today that two 13-year-olds and an adult had been charged in the crime.
However, Jubinville confirmed that he appeared today in a closed-door session of juvenile court with the half brother.
"He denied having a hand in the harm that came to his brother," Jubinville said.
Jordan Mendes was described by O'Keefe as a "significant drug dealer" who was allegedly robbed of $10,000 in cash he planned to use to buy drugs. The adult suspect -- Robert Vacher, 20 -- is accused of shooting Mendes in the torso and cutting his throat at 2:30 p.m. on Monday as they stole the money, which was used the next day to buy a silver BMW, O'Keefe said. The gun and the knife were allegedly supplied by the two 13-year-olds, according to a police report filed in Barnstable District Court.
One of the 13-year-olds came to the police department with his mother and described what happened. It was not clear from the report which juvenile spoke to investigators.
The 13-year-old told police that he supplied the knife and the other boy obtained the gun. The three suspects lured the victim to a home on Arrowhead Drive in Hyannis on Monday afternoon, according to the report. As Mendes was walking into the basement, Vacher allegedly shot him and then cut his throat, according to the report.
The 13-year-old who spoke to police said that he and Vacher then rolled the victimís body up in a carpet and dumped it in the woods, according to the report. The next day they came back with a gasoline can and set the corpse alight, according to the report.
Police found Mendesís body after responding to a fire about 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday. He was a sophomore at Barnstable High, and friends said he was a sharp-witted teenager who took care of his younger brother and sister.
He had friends among various cliques at the school, but also had a rough background. His father, Manuel, is serving a 35-year federal sentence for dealing cocaine, and Mendes had a history with police and the state Department of Youth Services.
Vacher was arraigned today on charges of robbery and first-degree murder in Barnstable District Court and held without bail. The two 13-year-olds were also both held without bail after appearing in juvenile court. All three suspects are scheduled to return to court in mid-January.
When the burned body was discovered earlier this week, O'Keefe described it as an extremely disturbing crime.
"It's certainly even more disturbing when you consider the age of the participants," O'Keefe said today at the press conference.