WALTHAM -- New details emerged today about the murder of a Waltham man who was shot to death last week, allegedly by a 21-year-old man and three teenagers who planned to rob him of drugs, but ended up killing him instead.
Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett said in court today that Daniel Louis, 21, of West Roxbury fatally shot Adam Coveney after 17-year-old Benjamin Peirce had allegedly lured him to the parking lot of Coveney's home, promising to buy drugs.
Bennett also said that 18-year-old Shaquan Jacobs of Newton lay in wait with Louis and participated in the physical attack on Coveney that took place just before the 29-year-old was shot. The prosecutor said a fourth person, Wallace Duarte, 17, of Waltham, drove the group to the shooting scene, and knew of the robbery plan in advance.
"This is a clear case of felony murder,'' Bennett said, referring to the legal theory that holds everyone criminally responsible for a murder even if they do not pull the trigger.
Relatives and friends of the three defendants and of Coveney were in Waltham District Court for today's arraignment, all of whom declined to speak with reporters. After the proceedings, a woman who was connected to one of the defendants approached Coveney's relatives.
"I'm sorry,'' the unidentified woman said. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for your loss.''
The people in the Coveney group did not appear to respond to the woman's tearful words.
Peirce, a Newton North High School student, was arraigned last week after pleading not guilty to murder and is being held without bail. Louis and Jacobs, who are also charged with murder, were ordered held without bail today by District Court Judge Gregory Flynn.
Bail was set at $20,000 cash for Duarte, who was charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. Duarte, who is a native of Brazil, was ordered to surrender his passport and wear a GPS locating device if he makes bail.
Bennett said in court that the four men were accompanied by a fifth person -- a female, whose identity was not being disclosed by authorities.
Defense attorneys for Louis and Jacobs quickly moved to distance their clients from having a direct connection with Coveney's death.
Jacobs, according to both the prosecutor and defense attorney Daniel Beck, had run from the scene and was climbing over a fence when he heard a popping sound that authorities say was the moment when Coveney was shot.
"Mr. Jacobs is by far the least culpable of the defendants charged with murder,'' said Beck. "There is a clear issue of withdrawal on his part.''
Jacobs is a recent graduate of Newton North High School, according to officials.
Stanley Norkunas, the attorney for Louis, said his client had attended English High School in Boston before dropping out. He said Louis actively opposed illegal drugs and violence during his high school career. Norkunas said he comes from a family of nine children.
"He may not be the individual that inflicted injury on that person,'' Norkunas said of Louis. "This may end up as an involuntary manslaughter.''
The judge set Oct. 26 as the next court date for all four defendants.
In Newton, counselors were scheduled to be on hand at the high school for any student who needs support, according to a letter sent to parents by Jennifer Price, the school's principal this weekend.
We at North stand ready to leverage all of our resources to support our students, as they attempt to come to grips with such disturbing news, she wrote in the letter.
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