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Man arraigned in slaying of hair stylist

Christopher W. Powell was accused of stabbing to death Corey Thompson and dumping his body at a Southeast expressway underpass last month.

Angela Rowlings/The Boston Herald

Christopher W. Powell was accused of stabbing to death Corey Thompson and dumping his body at a Southeast expressway underpass last month.

A 39-year-old Everett man was ordered held without bail today after he pleaded not guilty to a murder charge stemming from the fatal stabbing of a Boston hairstylist whose body was found underneath the Southeast Expressway Feb. 25.

Christopher W. Powell appeared in Boston Municipal Court where his defense attorney, Michael Bourbeau, said his client acted in self-defense when he stabbed the victim, Corey Thompson, 44, of Boston after a verbal argument escalated into a physical confrontation.

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“There appears to be issues of self-defense, even from what the prosecutor mentioned. What he has explained is that the altercation was started by the decedent and Mr. Powell was physically assaulted by the decedent prior,’’ said Bourbeau.

In court, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin said Powell was linked to the crime scene by bloodstains discovered on a fence near where Thompson’s body was found, and by bloodstains discovered in Thompson’s car after his death.

Corey Thompson’s sister, Patricia Russell, attended Wednesday’s arraignment. “He was too sweet of a guy for this to happen to him,” she said.

Angela Rowlings/The Boston Herald

Corey Thompson’s sister, Patricia Russell, attended Wednesday’s arraignment. “He was too sweet of a guy for this to happen to him,” she said.

Zabin also said the two men were seen together in a video captured by a nearby surveillance camera. He said Powell admitted to State Police troopers investigating the murder that he was involved in an altercation with Thompson and stabbed him.

A motive was not disclosed in court, but a State Police report filed in court quoted witnesses as saying they heard the two men arguing about money before the stabbing took place.

Powell’s wife and girlfriend were in the court when he was arraigned, but declined comment afterward.

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Thompson’s sister, Patricia Russell, attended the court proceeding, too. Before her brother’s alleged killer appeared in court, Russell said that her brother’s murder has left his family and friends heartbroken.

“He was too sweet of a guy for this to happen to him,” she said, standing next to her niece, Carin Jolin.

“What I want to do, I don’t think they’ll let me,” Russell said in response to a reporter’s question about what she would say to the suspect, if allowed.

Powell, who was arraigned before Judge Mark Summerville, is due back in court April 23.

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

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