A Hyde Park man was shot to death in the parking lot of a Dorchester church because he was involved in a small-claims case in the Dorchester courthouse, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office.
Charles Cantave was shot March 29 after he left the Dorchester Municipal Court where the case was being heard, a case that Conley's office said involved a car engine that Cantave either sold or promised he would fix.
Cantave was 36 years old and his death was part of a wave of killings in late March that led Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis to redeploy officers to Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.
Today, Mario H. Burns, 37, pleaded not guilty in the same courthouse to being an accessory after the fact to murder. Burns's wife, who was not identified by prosecutors by name, was the person fighting with Cantave in small claims court, prosecutors allege.
The triggerman has not been identified or arrested.
After appearing in court the day he was killed, Cantave was shot while sitting in his car, stopped in a church parking lot on Park Street, by someone who jumped in a car that drove off from the murder scene.
A witness provided a detailed description of the car, and police stopped it in the Grove Hall neighborhood.. Burns was behind the wheel. Also in the car were his wife, his mother-in-law, and a male passenger authorities did not identify.
All four denied having a role in Cantave's death, but prosecutors said their investigation led to the charges against Burns, who allegedly admitted he was the only person driving the car on the day Cantave died.
Burns pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $750,000 cash bail. His attorney, Rudge McKenney, could not be reached immediately for comment. Burns is due back in court May 10.
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