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Somerville man is charged in 2009 slaying

A Somerville man was ­ordered held without bail Tuesday on charges that he strangled another man more than three years ago with cords from a video game console.

Michael Barnett, 32, of Somerville was charged with murder, armed robbery, and witness intimidation in the death of Christopher Souza.

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Souza, 24, was found dead in his living room by his mother on the morning of Nov. 23, 2009, with cords from his Xbox and PlayStation 3 consoles bound around his neck.

Prosecutors allege that ­Barnett stole the consoles and sold at least one of them for $50 so he could buy drugs.

Barnett was arraigned Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, where clerk-magistrate Matthew Day ­ordered him held without bail, said the Middlesex district ­attorney’s office.

Barnett was arrested last month after investigators received tips following recent news coverage.

Police were able to trace the IP address of the stolen Play­Station to a man who said he purchased it from ­Barnett, prosecutors said.

Barnett’s girlfriend — Kelly Murray, 32, of Somerville — faces two counts of witness intimidation after Souza’s death. She was released on $2,500 bail and is subject to GPS monitoring, prosecutors said.

Barnett is slated to appear in court next on May 6 for a pretrial conference.

Jarret Bencks can be reached
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