Brothers to get life for murder after a 2016 Roxbury party

After eight days of deliberation, a Suffolk Superior Court jury today convicted Dartanyan and Niccokawan Pledger of second-degree murder for the March 21, 2016 shooting that killed Allex Bryant on Humboldt Avenue, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

The verdict means a life sentence, but with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

The jury also convicted Lisa Lewis, Niccokawan Pledger's girlfriend, of two counts of being an accessory after the fact for the shooting, which left a second victim wounded, the DA's office reports. Both she and Niccokawan, 28, are from Quincy; Dartanyan Pledger is 26, and from Dorchester.

According to the DA's office, Niccokwan Pledger, 28, of Quincy, attended a party on Humboldt Avenue, but left after 15 minutes and before Bryant got there. Bryant stayed until 3 a.m., then was killed shortly after:

Bryant made his way to a vehicle parked on Humboldt Avenue, where he was struck by gunfire as he sat inside, the evidence proved. He was later pronounced dead of a single gunshot wound to the torso.

Following the shooting, a security camera captured Dartanyan Pledger running on Munroe Street and entering a 2006 Nissan Maxima registered to and driven by Lewis, Niccokawon Pledger’s girlfriend. Niccokawon Pledger was captured on camera at the same time as he tossed an object – later found to be a Sig Sauer .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun – into a 2010 Toyota Camry registered to Dartanyan Pledger. He then entered Lewis’ Nissan, the evidence proved.

Cell phone records place both Pledger brothers and Lewis in the area at the time of Bryant’s murder. Call records indicate that Dartanyan Pledger and Niccokawon Pledger were on a 19-minute phone call with one another that ended at 3:06 a.m. – one minute before Boston Police were notified to the gunfire by a ShotSpotter activation at 3:07 a.m.

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I have a personal interest in this case, since they were in the process of selecting a jury last month the day I was called in for jury duty. I ended up not being impaneled, but I was just a few feet away from the three defendants and had a chance to observe them, so this case seems much more concrete to me than just another court case.

People posting on U-Hub often mention that this is frequently the only place they hear about a particular story. This case would seem newsworthy (murder at a party, two suspects flee, are eventually found hiding in RI, two brothers and a girl friend are brought to trial and found guilty), but an online search turned up only this U Hub story. This confirms for me---once again---the enormous value of an independent news source like U-Hub, so thank you, Adam. (I also appreciate the maps that accompany a story and clarity its location, very helpful!)