Teen charged with fatally stabbing man 37 times
DORCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- A 14-year-old boy is being charged as an adult after police say he stabbed a 39-year-old man to death.
Police say Ernest Watkins stabbed Cherby LaJoie 37 times in the area of Charles Street early Saturday morning. Police say they followed a trail of blood from the scene of the crime to the Fields Corner MBTA stop across the street. They arrested Watkins later that afternoon.
The teenage murder suspect was allowed to remain outside the courtroom during his arraignment based on his lawyers' concern that police have arrested the wrong person.
"They’ve arrested a 14-year-old, pulled him out of his life, pulled him away from his family and they should have some evidence to do that," said Janice Bassil, defense attorney.
The prosecutor says he has plenty of evidence, including surveillance video that puts Ernest Watkins at the crime scene where the victim was found and a key that was discovered on a shoe lace near the victim.
"Police took the key that was recovered at the scene and in the immediate vicinity of Mr. LaJoie’s body and tried it on Mr. Watkins door. The key in fact opened Mr. Watkins door when they put the key in and turned it," said Mark Hallal, prosecutor.
Police say a witness described seeing five people on top of the victim and that one was clearly stabbing him before they all ran across the street through the Fields Corner MBTA station.
Hours later in another part of the city, police stopped a car with four kids inside -- one of them they say was Watkins.
“The shirt that he was wearing in the car matched the shirt as depicted on the surveillance video from the MBTA," said Hallal.
Watkins’ family and a teacher appeared in court to show support for the boy they hoped would be coming home.
Instead, Watkins is being held without bail while the investigation into the gruesome murder continues. Watkins denies killing anyone.
"This is a family where everybody works, everybody goes to school. His sisters are gone, ones in community college, the other is in graduate school. This is a kid who was really doing okay," Bassil said.
Police say they have more evidence against Watkins including Charlie cards used at the MBTA stop close to where the crime occurred.