The attorney for a Lynn man accused in his girlfriend’s August 2013 murder was defiant in court Monday, suggesting that state officials had provided too few details about the case for him to provide adequate counsel for the man and his family.
Brian Kelley, the court-
appointed attorney for Chhoeut Chin, 42, who has been charged with murder, said the Commonwealth’s handling of the case thus far struck him as “Kafkaesque.”
On Monday, Chin was ordered held without bail in the August 2013 slaying of Sherry Bradley, 32, of Lynn. Chin was kept out of public view at his arraignment in East Boston District Court Monday, as he pleaded not guilty.
Police said a review of surveillance video, text messages, and witness interviews led to Chin’s arrest Friday, more than a year after the killing.
Bradley’s body was discovered in a garage at 800 Border St. in East Boston on the morning of Aug. 1, 2013, but her death was not ruled a homicide until April, when a medical examiner determined that “compression of the neck” caused her death.
Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Mark Lee said Chin’s distinctive 1999 Honda Civic was seen in the same location around the time the body was found.
Authorities seized the car registered in Chin’s name the week after the killing.
Kelley explained Monday that only “four or five lines” of information have been provided to him by the prosecution in the case.
The rest of his knowledge of the case has come from local newspapers, he said. Kelley argued that his client should not be held.
In a police report filed in court, authorities said Chin fled Lynn after an interview with detectives. Kelley said, however, that his client had never left the state and pointed to the fact that his client was arrested at his home in Lynn.
“The argument that the court should not detain him is obvious,” Kelley said. “And I don’t think there’s a very strong case for the government. It may be strong; we don’t know.”
“I want the Commonwealth to turn over exactly what they have today, as soon as possible,” Kelley said in an interview after the hearing. “I did not hear an explanation as to why it took so long to come to the conclusion they did.”
A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Sept. 17.
Lee, the prosecutor, said authorities had received reports about alarming behavior by Chin even before workers cleaning a garage in East Boston found Bradley’s body. Family members and friends of Bradley described Chin’s relationship with the victim as “possessive, controlling, and at times aggressive,” according to the police report filed in court.
“There were reports of stalking-type behavior, as well as documented threats to kill her,” Lee said.
Chin had prior assault charges, Lee said, and had served time in prison. Chin told detectives during an interview last year that he did not know Bradley and did not recognize the picture of her that was shown to him, according to the police report.
Kelley said his client has been a legal resident of the United States since 1984, is unmarried, and has a 22-year-old daughter. He is originally from Cambodia.
Chin’s relatives were emotional outside the courtroom Monday, holding tissues and wiping tears. Relatives said they had no comment on the case.
The victim’s father, Michael Bradley, previously told the Globe that Bradley had four children, worked as an administrative assistant, and loved music and dancing.
In that interview, Michael Bradley said he had never been told how his daughter died.