CHELSEA – A 22-year-old man boasted he had been paid a "substantial amount of money'' to plan -- and to carry out -- the murders of two Chelsea men targeted because they were believed to have cash and drugs, a prosecutor said today.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney John Pappas said in court today that Steven Andre carried out his plan on Sept. 6 when he shot and killed Angel Acevedo, 25, and Jenret Appleberry, 26, inside the victims' Chester Avenue apartment.
Chelsea police discovered the killings on Labor Day, he said. "When they entered the apartment, what they encountered was nothing short of a blood bath,'' Pappas said.
Pappas said one of the victims had been shot in his sleep – he did not identify which one – and said both were shot execution-style. Pappas alleged that Andre had been in the victims' apartment Sunday night.
Pappas also said that investigators have learned since the murders that Andre has boasted that he was a hit man, and that he was hired to kill the men and rob them of money and drugs.
Andre had bragged he got a "substantial amount of money'' for the murders, the prosecutor said,
Pappas did not elaborate.
Andre appeared in Chelsea District Court where he pleaded not guilty to two counts of first degree murder and other charges and was ordered held without bail by District Court Judge Diana L. Maldonado.
His lawyer, Boston defense attorney Stephen Weymouth, said he had just been assigned the case by the Committee on Public Counsel Services and could not respond to the prosecutor's allegations.
Weymouth stressed, however, that Andre "maintains his innocence."
In court, the prosecutor also said that Andre stole cash and some items belonging to the victims from the apartment. The personal items – which Pappas would not describe -- were
recovered by police when they searched Andre's Chelsea home.
But Weymouth, Andre's defense attorney, said the fact that police found personal items belonging to the victims was not proof of murder. He is due back in court Oct. 25.
Pappas also alleged that Andre had been in the victims' apartment Sunday night.
Andre has previously been convicted of armed robbery and has served three years in state prison before being released, officials said.
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