Attorney Liam Scully Defends Man Charged with Murder in Roxbury

By Jan Ransom and John R. Ellement
Globe staff • March 10, 2015

Police arrested a third suspect in the death of a 20-year-old man who was gunned down seven days before Christmas crossing a Roxbury street in daylight.

Arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court on Tuesday, Amir Richardson, 23, was ordered held without bail after being charged with the murder of William Davis. He also faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Richardson pleaded not guilty.

Richardson, a father of girls ages 2 and 7, allegedly fired six shots at Davis shortly after 1:35 p.m. Dec. 17 at Dudley and West Cottage streets, assistant district attorney Tara Burdman told the court Tuesday.

Three of those shots struck Davis, the prosecutor said.

“One of them struck him in the base of his neck, one of them struck him in his lower back, and the other struck him in the back of his left knee,” Burdman said. “It was the one that struck him in the back that did internal damage to his organs, and it’s the one that killed him.”

As the details emerged about her son’s death, Davis’s mother rocked in her seat at the front of the courtroom, tears streaming down her cheeks. Davis’s father whispered, “It’s OK.”

Burdman said Richardson allegedly fled in a GMC Terrain already occupied by Paul Francis, 24, of Quincy and Markeese Skinner, 27, of Dorchester. Those two were both arraigned last month in the same courthouse and pleaded not guilty to accessory after the fact to murder charges. Both are being held on $25,000 cash bail.

The men drove to the house of Skinner’s girlfriend on Woodville Street, where a brief standoff ensued. No one was arrested at that time.

Police discovered a red fleece jacket in the back seat of the alleged getaway vehicle that matched a description of the shooter’s clothing, a .38-caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number, and six spent shell casings, Burdman said. The casings matched the bullets that struck Davis.

Richardson’s hands and the jacket tested positive for gunshot residue, Burdman said.

Richardson, wearing a gray T-shirt, remained unmoved during his arraignment. Nearly a dozen family members and friends showed up to support him.

“He didn’t do it,” said longtime friend Jacorey Sanders, 22, adding that Richardson is “a nice guy.”

Court records tell a different story.

Richardson was convicted of dealing cocaine in 2012 and was sentenced to three years, a sentence he completed last year after being given credit for time served awaiting trial, records show.

Two years before, a Roxbury man filed a restraining order against Richardson. The man, who said he had witnessed Richardson break into a house on his block, said in a statement to the court that Richardson had “turned his life upside down.”

The man became a target after he identified Richardson as one of the men who broke into the Roxbury home in 2009. A purse, jewelry, precious metals, and a camera were stolen, according to court records.

Richardson later violated the restraining order and allegedly fired shots at the witness as he walked toward his home in 2012, court records show. Richardson was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and jailed for 18 months.

Richardson has been arrested at least 10 times, beginning in 2007, when he was a juvenile, for assault and battery, trespassing, possession of cocaine, and larceny.

Police with the Boston Fugitive Unit arrested Richardson on Monday at an apartment on North Beacon Street in Brighton. Richardson was represented Tuesday by attorney Liam Scully and is due back in court April 9.

The motive for the deadly shooting in December remains under investigation, said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

Davis’s parents declined to speak with the Globe Tuesday.

“Right now, I’m just grieving,” Davis’s mother said.

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