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DA formally withdraws murder charge against man for death of Codman Square gas-station attendant

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office has filed paperwork to end the prosecution of Kevin Williams for the murder of Jose Williams at a Washington Street gas station last month.

The filing of a nolle prosequi declaration today comes a week after the Suffolk County District Attorney's office asked a judge to release Williams on his own recognizance. In a statement, DA John Pappas said:

We don’t force the evidence to fit the case. We follow the facts wherever they lead, and today they led us to this decision. The investigation remains open, it remains active, and it remains a priority for us.

Jose Williams, 68, was found fatally shot at the Fabian gas station around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 5.

At Kevin Williams's arraignment a few days later, his lawyer argued Williams was innocent and said he had no motive: He'd just gotten paid at his job at a Taunton Jiffy Lube and he was getting ready to help his family move from Dorchester to the South Shore the next morning.

The DA's office today blamed Kevin Williams's attorney, Aviva Jeruchim, for part of the delay in dropping the charges:

Prosecutors said Williams’ arrest was supported by a detailed description of the assailant by an independent percipient witness at the scene; a positive identification of Williams as the gunman; and corroborating video footage – circumstances that clearly supported probable cause for the initial charges. In the weeks that followed, detectives continued to seek and gather evidence from multiple sources, and prosecutors fought in court to obtain potentially exculpatory evidence from Williams’ attorney and were forced to send grand jury subpoenas in order to obtain alibi testimony.

Kevin Williams's family had planned a press conference outside Dorchester Municipal Court for Monday - the date originally set for his next court hearing - to press for a formal apology for the charges.

The Dorchester Reporter reported on Wednesday that a family spokesman - former Boston NAACP president Michael Curry - had blasted what he called a false arrest that resulted from "blatant racial profiling:"

This was simply a rush by the Boston Police to arrest someone for this horrific crime. We waited patiently for close to five weeks for the BPD and the Suffolk County DA’s Office to get this one right, while they had a young African American man with no history of violent crimes, no propensity to commit such an act, and with tremendous promise sitting in jail - traumatized by a system that appeared deaf, dumb and blind to his innocence.

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Comments

how many are behind bars that didn't catch the same break? very scary stuff.

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If you take the statement of the DA's office at face value, this could have been cleared up in a matter of days. I can't wait to see if the defense attorney is going to make a statement on the way she handled it.

It does look bad, but if you read up on the cases handled by the Innocence Project, Boston looks "kind of" good. I have read of 2 cases here in recent times where the authorities have seen that they have the wrong person locked up and moved quickly to clear them. That doesn't happen in some other places, and it used to not happen here. It doesn't make it any better for Mr. Williams, and things have to be put into place to keep it from happening again.

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As much as the experience must have sucked, I bet he will enjoy the holidays a bit more as a free man.

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Well said.

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It hurts, and some of you will never understand that don't have to constantly be accosted frisked, felt up manhandled and talk to like a dog cuffed & tossed in a jail cell for crimes you have no knowledge of. In a city where the boston police profile you and ruin innocent lives. then go about there day, is that your idea of a hero ?
All while collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Not a bad racket !
My condolences to the lives ruined.

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They might be frisking you for the i you missed in *their.

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Way to miss the entire point

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Also missed you're* (not your)

Probably only counts as one offense though with 2 counts.

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some of you will never understand that don't have to constantly be accosted frisked, felt up manhandled
Most women will understand.

I'm glad that an innocent man was let go but the police didn't just pick up some random person off the street for this. There was a witness who identified Mr. Williams and some sort of video footage that supported the charges.

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This isn't good for race relations in the city. It took years to heal after the Boston Police arrested Willie Bennet an innocent black man while the real murderer Charles Stuart was canonized by the mayor and the media.

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First I would like to say I'm happy to young man has been released from custody and that he's back with his family for the holidays.

It is important that we do not rush to judgment on both sides. If the facts truly lead law enforcement to arrest and the criminal justice . It appears that he is just collateral damage from crime in our city.

On the other hand if there were facts that could have had this young man Vindicated and release prior to 5 months. The city of Boston not only oldest family an apology the Boston Police Department the DA's office in any other aspect of the criminal justice system that held this young man should apologize. In addition if it is found they held him in violation of any constitutional laws the city should go ahead and pay this family accordingly and not fighting in court.

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