Saturday, 2:15 PM
Parents will bury Milton sisters with the brother who killed them
The parents looked on as the family attorney read a statement. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
By Michael Levenson and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
MILTON – Vonze and Regina Revelus will hold a joint funeral Saturday for their two daughters and the son who killed them and was then shot to death by police, a friend said yesterday, as new details emerged that showed the son had been violent with a sibling several years ago.
“Even though this is tragic, this is still the mother of all three,” said Ernst Guerrier, a lawyer who has known the Revelus couple since they were high school students two decades ago. “She can’t separate them.”
Today, in their first public appearance since the rampage late Saturday afternoon, Vonze Revelus held his wife's arms and then crumpled onto her shoulder and wept quietly as Guerrier read a statement expressing the parents' sorrow.
"We only ask that everyone continue to include us in your chain of prayers,” Guerrier said, reading the statement outside the home of a Revelus relative in Milton. “We are dealing with a tremendous amount of grief at this very difficult time and we will continue to need your support.”
The one sister to survive the rampage in the Revelus' Milton house, 9-year-old Sarafina, successfully underwent surgery today and “is expected to make a full physical recovery,” Guerrier said, adding that she would need counseling because she had witnessed some of the attack. Sarafina's grandmother, who had been in the basement of the family home during the killings, remained at Sarafina's bedside today.
As the family searched for solace, court records revealed that the son, Kerby Revelus, 23, had been arrested four times in the last five years -- a more extensive criminal record than had previously been reported in the news media.
On Sept. 9, 2004, he was arrested at the family home in Milton after he punched his eldest sister, Jessica, during an argument about a phone bill.
"According to Ms. Revelus, the argument got heated and her brother punched her in the face with a closed fist,” Milton police wrote in report at the time. “In response, she threw a wooden spoon back at him.”
Jessica Revelus had no obvious injuries and declined medical attention, police wrote. She was advised she could get a restraining order against her brother but told officers that “she was not in fear of her brother and had no wish to pursue the matter,'' police wrote.
Revelus was charged with domestic assault and battery, but the charge was dropped after Jessica Revelus decided not to pursue the case, court records show.
"No one was ever afraid of him," Jessica Revelus, 21, said in a telephone interview. She lives in Hyde Park and was not at her parents' home at the time of the attack.
Norfolk County District Attorney William R. Keating said his office has reviewed its handling of Kerby Revelus previous legal issues and concluded that nothing was improperly handled.
"It didn't strike anyone here as not being handled the way things normally would be handled,'' Keating said.
A month before he punched his sister, Kerby Revelus had been arrested after he argued with other teenage boys in his neighborhood and punched one of them, police said. He was convicted of assault and battery, but did not receive prison time.
Revelus stayed out of legal trouble until Dec. 11, 2005 when he walked into a Randolph liquor store and tried to buy some alcohol. Asked for identification by a clerk, Revelus pulled out a handgun clip, and then walked out.
He was arrested minutes later by police who found the clip -- loaded with four 9mm blanks -- and a handgun in his waistband.
Revelus was sentenced to one year in the Norfolk County House of Correction for illegal possession of the gun and was placed on probation until 2009.
He violated his probation on Aug. 9, 2007, when he was arrested for riding in a car in Dorchester with two men who were in unlawful possession of a handgun.
The charge was later dropped when investigators concluded Revelus had not known about the gun. But because the arrest violated the probation from his Randolph gun case, Revelus was sent back to jail for a six-month sentence. He was behind bars from March 4, 2008 to Aug. 7, 2008, and was “a normal inmate with us,'' a corrections official said.
"No negative interactions. No hospitalization record,'' said Peter Perroncello, superintendent of the Norfolk County Jail and House of Correction. "We remember the ones who cause us a lot of heartache within this facility. Short of what took place in the community, I don't want to use the cliche, but he came in the door, did what he had to do and was released back into the community.”
After Revelus' release, he returned to his family home in Milton. Some neighbors said Revelus seemed to have undergone a dark transformation; he talked to himself, rambled incoherently and drank heavily.
"This was a very disturbed man," said one neighbor, who did not want to give his name. "He was not himself...he was saying a lot of crazy stuff."
On Saturday, police say Revelus stabbed to death his sisters, 5-year-old Bianca and 17-year-old Samantha, and was stabbing Sarafina, when he was shot and killed by police.
Today, a relative said Vonze and Regina Revelus had no idea that their son was capable of such violence.
“I think if they had known something like that would have happened, they would have tried to get help,” said Vonze's sister, Marie Revelus. “I don’t think they knew."
Marie Revelus added that she had just seen Kerby Revelus last week. “For me, he was OK,” she said, “because Kerby was always laughing, always making fun.”