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Medford man accused of perjury in August beating death held on $20k bail

Posted by Matt Byrne  February 16, 2011 10:04 AM

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Matt Byrne

Roger Beattie, 32, of Medford, appeared to pray during his arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court Tuesday on two counts of perjury in connection to a murder that occurred at his Salem Street apartment in August.

Beattie_Mug.jpgA Medford man accused of lying to authorities about a beating death in August at his Medford apartment pleaded not guilty to two counts of perjury in Middlesex Superior Court today.

Roger Beattie, 32, was ordered by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey held on $20,000 cash bail on two counts of perjury, and with the condition that he stay away and have no contact with the witnesses in the case.

Beattie is due back in court March 1 for a pretrial conference.

According to authorities, Beattie witnessed the Aug. 28 beating death of Brian Fahy, 28, of Weymouth in Beattie's house on Salem Street, and lied about it later to prosecutors. Beattie was roommate and best friend to Christopher Toppi; the pair lived with six others in the top two floors of a duplex three-story home at

In filings made in court today, prosecutors allege that Beattie notified Fahy's alleged killer, Christopher Toppi, that Toppi's ex-girlfriend was in bed with Fahy. Toppi and his ex shared a room in the Medford house, according to a statement of the case filed in court.

Prosectuors also alleged that later in the night Beattie saw Toppi, 28, bludgeon Fahy with a lock wrapped in a towel as he lay in bed with Toppi's ex-girlfriend, which he also lied about in Grand Jury testimony, according to prosecutors.

Toppi, who had been staying with his mother in Cambridge, turned himself in shortly after the death and was charged with one count of murder.

Investigators said that during the investigation, Beattie lied about conversations he had with Toppi shortly after Fahy's death, and how Beattie later attempted to corral and influence the testimony of several roommates who also allegedly witnessed the bludgeoning.

According to documents filed in court today, Fahy had never met his alleged killer or Beattie.

Investigators said that a week before the death, Toppi and his girlfriend broke up. On the night of the death, a Friday, investigators said that Toppi, Beattie, and two other roommates went out on Landsdowne Street in Boston.

Separately, Toppi's ex-girlfriend and Fahy went out together that night; the two had known each other and reconnected on Facebook, prosecutors said. Fahy and the the ex-girlfriend returned to the Salem Street house around 11 p.m. and went into her room, ultimately falling asleep in her bed.

Meanwhile, Toppi had made plans to sleep that night at his mother's house in Cambridge. The arrangement made for a shorter commute for him the next morning, according to the case filing.

So with Toppi heading to Cambridge, Beattie and friends went home to Medford. When they arrived another roommate used a third-floor bathroom, heard music coming from the ex-girlfriend's room, looked through her open door, and saw her with Fahy, asleep, the filings said.

The roommate then told Beattie and others what he saw.

"[She's] up there lying down with somebody," the roommate said, according to investigators.

Beattie then reached Toppi by phone, and told him that his ex-girlfriend was "with a man" at the house Toppi returned to the house on Salem Street in the early morning hours of Aug. 28., spoke briefly to Beattie, went up-stairs, and confronted Fahy, fatally beating him with a lock wrapped in a towel.

Police and emergency medical personnel responded to the house at 3:32 a.m., according to the court records. Ten minutes later Fahy was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy ruled his death a homocide, and determined the cause was blunt-force trauma of the head, a fractured skull, and injuries to the brain and major blood-vessels, according to the court records.

According to investigators, Beattie lied to the Grand Jury at his first testimony Sept. 2, according to the prosecution. Beattie told prosecutors he did not see Toppi at the Salem Street house the night of the killing, and said after his initial phone call to tell Toppi that someone was in bed with his ex, that he had not spoken to him.

Investigators say text-message conversations and phone calls indicate otherwise, and that Toppi asked Beattie to "get rid of the lock" that was used to bludgeon Fahy while police were interviewing Beattie. The two had a handful of phone conversations as well.

Luke Brennan, another roommate who also allegedly witnessed the murder, told investigators that he heard the fight between Toppi and Fahy, went upstairs, and "saw Toppi hunched over Fahy, hitting him in the face while Fahy was lying in bed."

Brennan said that Beattie then entered the room, pulled his friend Toppi off Fahy and into a living room area and told him to "calm down," the filing said.

Beattie is also accused of attempting to coordinate false testimony between the other roommates and Toppi's mother, who was party to many of the conversations about which Beattie allegedly lied.

Beattie and Toppi's mother allegedly met and discussed how Beattie had "gotten everyone together to plan what they were going to say about what happened," the filing said.

"I had everything set I had .. the story straight," Beattie allegeldy told Toppi's mother.

According to prosecutors, Beattie has 13 prior convictions, including a 1997 armed robbery for which he was sentenced to 3 to 4 years. It was unclear how much of that time he served.

Beattie's attorney, J. Gregory Batten, said during the arraignment that the bail was unreasonable, saying his client has "deep ties to the area," pays child support, and holds a job at Dunkin' Donuts in Malden.

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