Somerville Police Department
220 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(In Union Square)
Emergency: Dial 9-1-1
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Published on Friday, 12 April 2013 17:59
BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AWARD
is presented for outstanding dedication and effort for the month of April 2013 to
Detective Paul Duffy
Detective Paul Duffy has been a dedicated member of the Somerville Police Department for 24 years. In November 2009, Somerville Police were called to respond to a report of a possible suicide. The victim, a 24 year old male, was found lying on the floor with signs of trauma to his body. Det. Duffy, an experienced and seasoned investigator, proceeded with the death investigation as a potential homicide. Det. Duffy soon learned that the Medical Examiner had ruled the victim’s death as a homicide and the manner of death as murder. Det. Duffy was determined to find out who had killed the victim and worked tirelessly with Trooper Jeff Saunders on this investigation. He stayed in contact with the victim’s family and pushed for public appeals for persons with information to come forward. Over a four year period, Det. Duffy followed every lead and was relentless in his pursuit of the truth. Finally, in March 2013, Det. Duffy developed enough information to indict the suspect for murder and is now awaiting his trial. Det. Duffy went above and beyond the call of duty by bringing this suspect to justice and bringing closure to the family of the victim.
Thomas Pasquarello, Chief of Police
Published on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 16:10
PRESS RELEASE FROM MIDDLESEX DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE:
WOBURN – A Somerville man has been charged with murder for the 2009 homicide of 24-year-old Christopher Souza of Somerville, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.
Michael Barnett, 32, of Somerville, was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on charges of murder, armed robbery and witness intimidation for the November 22, 2009 death of Christopher Souza. In addition, a second defendant, Kelly Murray, 32, of Somerville, was charge with witness intimidation (two counts).
Barnett will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court; a date has not yet been scheduled. Murray was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on March 29, 2013 where Assistant Clerk Magistrate Matt Day ordered her held on $5,000 cash bail with conditions to stay away from any witnesses and comply with current conditions of probation on an unrelated case.
“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,” District Attorney Leone said. “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.”
According to police, the victim was discovered by his mother lying motionless on his living room floor in the morning of November 23, 2009. The victim had several cords wrapped around his neck and was determined to be deceased. An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be strangulation by ligature and the manner of death to be homicide. An investigation was launched. The investigation revealed that the victim’s Xbox and Playstation video game systems were missing from the apartment in which he lived.
Recent news coverage of the case helped to generate new leads in the investigation which lead to the charges.
According to authorities, it is alleged that on the night of November 22, 2009, Barnett was looking to buy drugs but did not have any money to pay for the drugs.
It is alleged that Barnett went to the victim’s home in Somerville late that evening. The defendant allegedly stole the victim’s Xbox and Playstation video game systems and strangled the victim to death with the cords from the game consoles.
It is further alleged that the defendant then sold the Playstation for $50, using the money to buy drugs. Police were able to confirm the IP address of the Playstation and contacted the buyer who had activated Souza’s online account. The buyer alleged he purchased the game system from Barnett.
Murray, the girlfriend of the defendant, is charged with intimidating a witness for allegedly lying to police during the investigation.
The case was investigated by Somerville Police and State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Chris Tarrant. The Victim Witness Advocate is Anne Foley.