On Tuesday night, friends and family gathered in Jamaica Plain to mourn the death of Richel Nova. He's the 58-year-old Domino's delivery man who was murdered while delivering a pizza last week in Hyde Park.
Three young Boston residents are accused of luring Nova to a vacant home, stabbing him to death and then stealing his money, car and the pizza he was hired to deliver. The three pleaded not guilty Tuesday in West Roxbury Municipal Court.
A teenager who says she's friends with two of the suspects says she saw them hours after the murder.
Aline Valery, 19, is a junior at Hyde Park High School and best friends with Yamiley Mathurin, one of the three people accused of Nova's murder.
"Alex had blood all over his pants and his shirt. I asked them what happened. And I guess they told me a lie..."Aline Valery, friend of one of the suspects
"We were just talking about how we were going to go school shopping and do our hair the same way. We was gonna do dreads," she said.
Valery was such good friends with Mathurin that Valery convinced her own mom to take in the boy her friend liked.
That boy is Alexander Gallett, another suspect in the murder.
"He had really nowhere to stay, and he wanted a place to leave his clothes, you know, somewhere he could have a stable mailing address," Valery said.
After The Murder
Last Wednesday night, Valery was at home with her mom watching television. It was 2 a.m. and someone set off the motion-censored lights outside their house. So, Valery went downstairs to see who it was. She found Gallett, Mathurin and another man she recognized as Michel St. Jean.
"One of the guys, Michel, his hands were bleeding," she said.
"All I seen was they were panicking. Alex had blood all over his pants and his shirt. I asked them what happened. And I guess they told me a lie, they told me that they was walking, they three was walking and somebody was drunk and somebody was trying to touch Yamiley's butt and they got into a fight."
Valery says they put a Domino's pizza box into her refrigerator. And she went to sleep.
Valery had no idea what her friends would be accused of.
Prosecutors say they have surveillance video showing the three suspects arriving at a vacant house on Hyde Park Street a little after 8 p.m. last Wednesday.
"We know at that point they were armed with knives," attorney Jennifer Hickman said Tuesday in West Roxbury Municipal Court.
Hickman said Mathurin called Dominos to place an order a little before 11 p.m. Nova arrived with the pizza 10 minutes before midnight, and Mathurin allegedly asked him to follow her to the back of the house where she kept her wallet.
"While Mr. Nova was brought into that particular house and a little room off the back steps, he was set upon. There were multiple stab wounds, as stated, to the neck, to the back, as well as to the chest," Hickman said.
Hickman said the three left in Nova's car, and police later tracked down St. Jean by his cell phone number, which Mathurin allegedly gave to Dominos in case they needed to call back. When police interviewed St. Jean, he gave up his friends, according to prosecutors.
All three pleaded not guilty to first degree murder charges. They're being held without bail.
No Criminal History
Police say none of them had prior interactions with law enforcement.
That's consistent with what Aline Valery knew of her friends. She says Mathurin went to church every Sunday and wanted to go into the medical field. And Gallett was a nice, quiet boy. All of them — including Valery — shared a bond as the children of Haitian immigrants.
But now she doesn't know what to think.
"What they did was wrong. It was wrong. It was selfish," she said.
Valery doesn't understand why they came to her house afterward.
"It really sickens me. And (they) actually brought the box of pizza home and (were) offering me a slice of pizza... and (they're) really letting me eat this pizza and (they) know (they) just robbed somebody and killed them," she said.
Valery says she hasn't told this story to police. However, a detective interviewed her mother and removed evidence from her house.
What Valery is most apprehensive about is returning to school, where everyone knows her as Yamiley's best friend.
This program aired on September 8, 2010.