A 15-year-old Dorchester boy’s mother tried to intervene as she witnessed her son stab a man to death in Dudley Square, a Suffolk County prosecutor said at the boy’s arraignment Friday.
McKinley Archie pleaded not guilty in Roxbury Municipal Court to a murder charge in the stabbing death of Anthony Woodbridge, 18, which happened just before 10 a.m. Thursday. Archie was ordered held without bail.
A fuller picture of the scene of the crime emerged at the arraignment Friday, as Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Craig Iannini described how witnesses reported that the woman pulled her son away from the victim before the two drove away from the scene.
“I don’t know that mother, but it’s got to be a very difficult thing for her. Maybe she didn’t see it coming,” said Monalisa Smith, the founder and president of Boston-based Mothers for Justice & Equality. “But your heart breaks knowing her child will have to bear these consequences for the rest of his life, and your heart breaks for the other mother who is burying her child.”
Smith, who works to provide restorative healing to mothers who have lost children to violence as well as mothers whose children have committed crimes, said she had never heard of a case in which a mother directly witnessed her child commit a violent crime.
Video footage obtained from the MBTA showed that Archie got out of a dark-colored Nissan Altima, approached the victim, and engaged in a stabbing motion when a woman identified by witnesses as his mother intervened, Iannini said.
According to a report filed in court, police found that the car had been rented by Archie’s mother, Deborah. They were looking for Archie, his mother, and the car when they saw the car driving down Millet Street and stopped it. The mother and teenager were inside, along with Deborah Archie’s ex-husband.
During interviews with police, both the mother and ex-husband “made statements implicating” the boy as the killer, police said. McKinley Archie was then arrested for murder.
“It’s just heart-wrenching, both mothers — the mother of the perpetrator and the mother of the victim — they’re experiencing two different sides of trauma,” Smith said. “Their worlds have changed forever.”
Under state law, Archie, who attends TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, is being tried as an adult. His case will be open to the public, according to Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Defense attorney Jason Benzaken of Brockton offered few words after Friday’s arraignment.
“Just a kid,” Benzaken said.
Judge David Poole set a probable cause hearing for Aug. 7.
Archie was arrested around 4 p.m. Thursday for the “blatant daytime murder,” police said in a statement. Police Commissioner William B. Evans said the victim and the assailant knew each other. “This individual was targeted. It wasn’t a random act,” he said.
Evans thanked members of the community for their assistance in the investigation.
“Their aid and information was instrumental in making a quick apprehension in this case,” Evans said in a statement.
The attack was the second fatal stabbing in less than 24 hours and the city’s 22nd homicide of the year, a number that grew later Thursday when a young man was shot to death on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester around 7:45 p.m.
A 14-year-old boy was also shot in the foot in that incident and was taken to Boston Children’s Hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
On Wednesday, a 51-year-old man was stabbed to death on Intervale Street in Dorchester, police said. A 61-year-old friend of the victim, Steven R. White, has been charged with his killing and was held without bail following his arraignment Thursday, Wark said.
And late Sunday night, three men were shot at a cookout near Warren and Zeigler streets, just feet from the site of Thursday morning’s stabbing. They were expected to survive.
Evans called the recent violence “troubling” but not all that uncommon. The Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve holidays are when violence typically picks up, he said.
“It’s been a busy last week,” he said.
Evans and Mayor Martin J. Walsh met with community leaders at City Hall on Friday to discuss the recent violence, officials said.Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.