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Two Mattapan men arraigned in July double homicide

Slayings were tied to drugs, DA says

Kevin Thomas’s relationship with Earl Fulgiam and Michael Corbin had a social aspect, but it was also rooted in the narcotics business, prosecutors say.

Those circumstances were detailed yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court, including copious amounts of cash, illegal firearms, and stashes of marijuana and cocaine, prosecutors said.

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Thomas, whom authorities say was known to deal drugs, kept bundles of cash and two firearms in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Billie Marie Kee, 24, the daughter of a retired Boston police detective.

Once, Thomas posed with Fulgiam and Corbin, sitting on a couch. On a coffee table in front of them rested a pile of money, according to authorities. The men had known each other for years.

On July 26, just weeks after the picture was taken and only hours after Thomas, 32, attempted to collect a debt from Corbin, Thomas and Kee were found dead inside their apartment at 957 Hyde Park Ave., according to authorities. The apartment was ransacked, and Thomas’s legs were bound together with an electrical cord, cut from a kitchen appliance.

Kee’s 3-year-old son was found in a nearby room, unhurt. Kee also had a 6-year-old daughter, who was staying with family members on the night of the homicides. Relatives are caring for both children.

“It was apparent that the perpetrators came looking for something,’’ said John Pappas, assistant Suffolk district attorney. “Both had sustained multiple traumatic injuries, having been stabbed and shot multiple times. . . . Readily apparent to investigators at the scene were implements used to inflict the multiple injuries on both victims.’’

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Fulgiam and Corbin, both of Mattapan, were each charged yesterday with two counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery, in addition to numerous firearms charges. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges. clerk-magistrate Gary Wilson ordered them held without bail, pending a Feb. 13 pretrial hearing.

Pappas said both defendants have used at least two aliases in the past and have extensive criminal records that include assault and battery. Fulgiam, 31, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 1999, and Corbin was sentenced to one to three years in 1997.

At least a dozen family members of the victims attended the arraignment and many gasped as the defendants were led into the courtroom. At least six court officers stood throughout the emotionally charged courtroom. The family members left without commenting after the arraignment.

William L. Kee could not be reached yesterday for comment regarding the arraignment, but in previous interviews he said his daughter called him five or six times a day just to talk. He said he was certain his daughter was not the target but an “innocent bystander.’’

Pappas detailed alleged evidence against the defendants, including the picture of the three together with the cash and a recording of the conversation between Thomas and Corbin in which Thomas tried to collect a debt from him. That conversation, just hours before the bodies were discovered after a 911 call, ended with Corbin, 41, allegedly saying he would return to the apartment, according to Pappas. It is unclear who made the recording or whether it was video or audio, or both.

Pappas also said that Corbin’s fingerprints were found on the appliance from which the electrical cord was cut and that Fulgiam’s fingerprints were found on the large-capacity magazine loaded into the 9mm handgun used to shoot the victims.

Brian R. Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.

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