THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
< Back to front page Text size +

Local man charged in 2009 Somerville slaying

Posted by Jarret Bencks  April 2, 2013 11:45 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

A man who allegedly choked a Somerville man to death with video game cords in 2009 has been arrested, authorities announced Tuesday.

Michael Barnett, 32, of Somerville, strangled 24-year-old Christopher Souza  with the cords inside Souza's home, stole his XBox and PlayStation video game consoles, sold them, and used the cash to buy drugs, according to a statement from Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone's office.

Barnett was indicted by a grand jury on charges of murder, armed robbery, and witness intimidation in connection to the death of Souza, who was found dead on the living room floor of his family's Somerville home on Nov. 22, 2009.

Investigators tracked down Souza's Playstation after the man who bought it from Barnett activated Souza's online account, and they traced the IP address, the statement said. Barnett allegedly sold him the console for $50.

Kelly Murray, 32, also of Somerville, faces two counts of witness intimidation in connection to the crime, according to a statement from Middlesex County prosecutor's office. Murray is Barnett's girlfriend and allegedly lied to police during the investigation.

An arraignment has not yet been set for Barnett. Murray was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on March 29 where her bail was set at $5,000.

Recent media coverage led to new evidence in the case, the statement from Leone's office said.

"Thanks to a committed and persistent team of investigators and prosecutors, coupled with new public awareness of this previously unsolved case, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office obtained new evidence that helped lead to the indictment of the defendant for this senseless strangulation murder," Leone said in a prepared statement. "I applaud the commitment of the Somerville police and Massachusetts State Police to investigate this crime and work to bring justice for Christopher and his family."

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.



E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article