Ricardo Arias had a one-day pass from the Judge Connelly DYS center in Roslindale to see the Red Sox play the Rangers at Fenway Park this past Saturday night. But as the Sox took the field, Suffolk County prosecutors charge, Arias was standing near the Villa Victoria housing project in the South End with a pal, asking passersby if they lived in "the Villa." And when one answered "yes," Arias pulled out a gun and shot him dead, they say.
Arias, 17, with ties to Mission Hill, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court today on charges he gunned down Alex Sierra for the simple act of living in the wrong place. An alleged 16-year-old accomplice was held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Sierra, Assistant District Attorney Amy Galatis said in court, had no criminal record, no ties to gangs. In fact, friends say, he was taking classes to become a medical assistant. Arias, who formerly lived in the Alice Taylor project near the Ruggles T stop, ended that dream by shooting Sierra several times, according to the charges against him. As Sierra staggered into the nearby El Barberitos salon, bleeding heavily, Sierra and his the other guy - not named because of his age - fled in a gold minivan to Prentiss Street, where Arias once lived.
Teens from Mission Hill and "the Villa" have long feuded. In fact, a Harvard summer camp program attempts to pair kids from the two neighborhoods to try to get them to know each other and reduce the violence. Arias's left arm is tattooed in memory of Henry "Antoniocito" Mateo, a Mission Hill teen stabbed to death in 2009.
"Alex Sierra had no criminal record, he had never been arrested, he had no gang affiliation, and neither he nor his family did anything to deserve this fate," Suffolk County DA Dan Conley said in a statement. "Now his name joins the terrible litany of precious young lives lost to mindless violence: Cedirick Steele. Herman Taylor III. Nicholas Fomby-Davis. Steven Odom. Trina Persad. Germaine Goffigan. There can be no motive to explain a crime like this, and there can be no place in civilized society for the type of person who commits it."