A Dorchester man was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to nearly two dozen charges in what is the most serious legal case related to the chaotic aftermath following last Sunday's peaceful march and protest.
John Boampong, 37, was charged Wednesday with 21 counts of assault with intent to murder. Police allege that he was driving a car from which 10 gunshots were fired in the direction of officers at around 3 a.m. Monday near the Boston Common. He was arrested shortly thereafter, hours after clashes between protesters, police and others on the streets downtown and elsewhere in Boston had erupted.
During an arraignment Monday, Judge Mark Summerville dismissed a charge of receiving stolen property and also declined to arraign Boampong on the charges of armed assault with intent to murder, stating there was not enough evidence for him to formally charge Boampong. The state provided no physical evidence, nor eye-witness testimony.
Instead of dismissing the charges altogether, however, Summerville issued a continuance until Wednesday, when Boampong was scheduled for a dangerousness hearing to determine if he should be released on bail.
On Wednesday, Judge Paul Treseler formally charged Boampong with the assault charges.
Assistant District Attorney Caitlin Fitzgerald told the judge Boampong had since admitted to shooting the gun. Boampong denied, however, shooting the gun at anyone.
"The interview certainly strengthens the commonwealth's case," Fitzgerald said during the telephone hearing. "Obviously, Mr. Boampong indicates that he was not shooting at the officers." The dangerousness hearing was held remotely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Prosecutors had asked that Boampong be held in custody pending a trial, or otherwise asked for a cash bail of $100,000. His defense attorney, Gerasimos Antzoulatos, argued for his release on bail, saying Boampong has an 11-year-old son and wanted to be able to maintain his work as an Instacart grocery delivery driver.
This article was originally published on June 03, 2020.