Two men were held without bail Tuesday on murder charges stemming from separate weekend killings in Boston, part of a wave of violence in the city that left five people dead from Friday through Sunday.
One suspect, Kevin Dante Williams Jr., 21, was arraigned in Dorchester Municipal Court on murder and weapons charges after police said he gunned down Jose L. Williams, a 63-year-old attendant at Fabian Gas Station located near the courthouse, during a botched robbery Saturday night. The suspect and victim aren’t related.
A not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of Kevin Williams, who has no prior record and who remained out of public view during the arraignment. Relatives of Kevin and Jose Williams attended the hearing and sat on opposite sides of the courtroom, separated by court officers.
Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Jennifer Hickman said Jose Williams was shot in the chest during the attack inside the station on Washington Street around 11:35 p.m.. A witness provided a suspect description, Hickman said, and police stopped a person matching the description on Centre Street.
That person was identified as Kevin Williams, and the eyewitness later identified him as the assailant, Hickman said.
Aviva Jeruchim, a lawyer for Kevin Williams, noted her client’s clean record and said he works at Jiffy Lube. His family was preparing to move over the weekend, Jeruchim said, and he had “absolutely no incentive to commit these offenses, and in fact did not.”
She said she expects surveillance footage and cellphone evidence will establish that Kevin Williams was “nowhere near” the crime scene at the time of the murder.
However, a police report filed in the case said that in addition to the eyewitness identification, investigators reviewed video footage from the scene, and “the clothing was compared and matched to the suspect even depicting ‘Hilfiger’ underwear worn by [Kevin] Williams and consistent with the video.”
In addition, the report said, Kevin Williams was “observed on Homeland Security cameras coming from the area of Washington Street after the shooting prior to his stop by police.”
Earlier Tuesday, a defendant in another murder, Kai Harris, 27, of Brockton, was held without bail in the same courthouse on charges that he killed Terrell White, 19, during a drive-by shooting shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Itasca Street in Mattapan.
A not-guilty plea was entered on Harris’s behalf to charges including murder, unlawful firearm possession, and being an armed career criminal.
Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Julie Higgins said Harris has prior convictions for offenses including armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Higgins did not disclose a motive for the slaying.
A police report said plainclothes officers were patrolling in the area of Itasca Street when they heard “several pops” believed to be gunfire. They also saw “shots coming from the rear driver’s side window of a red Honda,” the report said.
Police saw White fall to the sidewalk after being hit, and they immediately began rendering medical aid for “multiple gunshot wounds,” according to the report.
Police also pursued the Honda, and when a man exited the car from the driver’s seat on Cummins Highway, one officer “immediately recognized the suspect as Kai Harris,” the report said. Harris ran into a side yard clutching his waistband, the document said, and police later spotted him sitting on the ground behind a tree. He was arrested without incident.
One officer confirmed that Harris “was the person operating the vehicle he attempted to stop after the shooting,” the report said.
In court Tuesday, Harris’s lawyer, Eduardo Masferrer, stressed that police saw gunfire coming from the rear driver’s side door, suggesting the driver was not the shooter. Masferrer noted that no gun was recovered and said Harris denies involvement in the slaying.
Harris wore a hooded sweatshirt as he stood handcuffed in the prisoners’ dock. He waved to his family when court officers led him out of the courtroom.
Both defendants are due back in court next month.
Three other people were killed from Friday to Sunday.
Around 3:23 a.m. Friday, Raymond Willie B. Holloway-Creighton, 26, was shot to death near Massachusetts Avenue and Chesterton Street in Dorchester as he headed home from his job driving for a food delivery service.
Around 6:45 p.m. Friday, officers found Gabriel Rodriguez, 22, suffering from gunshot wounds on Emrose Terrace in Dorchester. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
And around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Karim Blount, 42, was fatally shot on Mildred Avenue in Mattapan.
Outside Fabian Gas Station Tuesday, a memorial of candles and tribute messages was set up for Jose Williams.
A friend, Ray Smith, 53, stopped by the memorial and said he cried when he heard the news that the longtime neighborhood fixture had been killed.
“They killed him for nothing,” Smith said. “He was a good dude.”
Globe Correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.