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Ex-Mass. man makes brazen escape from Ky. prison van

Derek A. Capozzi was convicted in 2005 of helping to cover up the killing of Aislin Silva of Medford. Witnesses said he helped to hack her body into small pieces and bury them. Derek A. Capozzi was convicted in 2005 of helping to cover up the killing of Aislin Silva of Medford. Witnesses said he helped to hack her body into small pieces and bury them.
By Shelley Murphy and Martin Finucane
Globe Staff / April 16, 2010

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A former Beverly man convicted of playing a role in the grisly gangland murder of a young Medford woman in 1996 escaped from federal custody yesterday by kicking out the door of a transport van in central Kentucky.

“He is a bad guy and hopefully he’ll be caught quick,’’ said Deputy US Marshal Frank Dawson, a spokesman for the agency’s Boston office.

“He is extremely dangerous.’’

Authorities in Kentucky have launched a multidepartment manhunt, said Pat Melton, a spokesman for the Versailles, Ky., Police Department.

Melton said Capozzi was being taken to Lexington, Ky., yesterday to be flown to a federal facility out of state.

The inmate kicked open the door of the corrections van as it was turning onto the Kentucky 33 exit off the Bluegrass Parkway.

Capozzi, 37, was slated to remain in prison until 2046.

He was convicted by a federal jury in 2005 of helping to cover up the killing of Aislin Silva, 19, of Medford.

Silva was killed by a Mafia-connected gang of drug dealers and thieves who feared she might cooperate with authorities. Witnesses testified that Capozzi helped to hack her body into small pieces and bury them after a fellow mobster strangled her.

Silva’s father, Joseph, said he had been notified by local law enforcement officials of the escape. He said he was confident that Capozzi would be caught.

“I hold great faith with them. They know what they’re doing,’’ Joseph Silva said.

“I don’t believe he’ll get out of Kentucky.’’

Doreen Henderson, Aislin Silva’s mother, said that hearing Capozzi’s name again brought back painful memories.

“I’m hopeful that he will be apprehended very soon,’’ she said.

Capozzi was convicted of joining the conspiracy to kill Silva, being an accessory after the fact, and conspiring to commit robbery.

He was sentenced in August 2005 to 23 years in prison.

He was already serving a 30-year sentence for a 1999 conviction on weapons and extortion charges.

Several other gang members were convicted in the Silva case. Gang member Kevin Meuse, who allegedly strangled Silva in Medford on Nov. 13, 1996, hanged himself in prison in 1997.

Material from the Associated Press was included in this report.

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