A man who rifled through the pockets of two homicide victims looking for drugs and left his shoe prints in a blood-soaked crime scene in a Falmouth home before stealing $240 in cash was properly convicted of stealing from a building, a state appeals court ruled this week.
Darryl S. Green lived on Central Avenue in Falmouth on June 11, 2013, when Crystal Perry and Kristofer M. Willams were murdered early that morning in their home a few doors away from Green’s home, a double homicide that remains unsolved four years later.
Green entered the apartment, according to a confession he gave to homicide investigators in 2013, searched Perry’s body where he found it in the kitchen, and rolled over Williams’s body as it lay on the floor in the living room. Having found no drugs, Green grabbed cash found in the bedroom and near the front door, according to court papers.
Green, who is described as a friend of Perry’s, did not call 911.
He left with the cash, spent the money on drugs, and for the first time wore rubber boots instead of construction boots to his job as a day laborer for a Cape Cod mason, according to court records.
Green’s appellate attorney argued there was insufficient evidence to convict him of any crime because under Massachusetts law, a confession by itself cannot be the basis for a conviction. It must be corroborated independently, and that didn’t happen in this case, the lawyer argued.
But Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe’s office countered that his shoe print in the blood, the fact that the apartment had been ransacked as Green told police, and the cash he spent on drugs that morning more than met their legal burden.
A three-judge panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court Wednesday agreed with O’Keefe’s office and upheld the conviction for stealing from a building as well as the 2.5 years and one day sentence Green received during his 2015 trial.
“The defendant’s description of the condition of the house . . . matched police observations and were the sort of details that would not be known without familiarity with the crime scene,’’ Judge Joseph M. Ditkoff wrote.
Ditkoff noted that “at the time the money was stolen, no living person was in the home,” clearing the way, legally speaking, for Green to be convicted of stealing from the building and not a charge of larceny of a person.
Moreover, Green’s “use of different boots for the first time corroborated at least circumstantially the possibility that he had been walking through a bloody crime scene the previous evening,’’ Ditkoff wrote.
The court addressed Green’s contention that his sentence was harsh because Perry’s sister and daughter-in-law delivered victim-impact statements to Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo, who presided over the jury-waived trial. Ditkoff concluded their emotional statements did not influence Rufo’s sentencing decision.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.