Thursday hearing set for suspect in 2009 shooting at Harvard
A Superior Court hearing is scheduled for Thursday in the case against Jason Aquino, who was arraigned on murder charges March 11 in connection with the 2009 shooting death of Justin Cosby, 21, of Cambridge, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said.
Only Monday, media were reporting Aquino and Blayn Jiggetts — two of three men suspected in the shooting — had an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for cooperating with the investigation. The Harvard Crimson reported it, citing The Boston Globe.
The District Attorney’s Office can’t comment on plea deals, said Cara O’Brien, the office’s deputy director of communications, by telephone today.
Before today’s announcement of a 9 a.m. Thursday hearing in Woburn Superior Court, Aquino’s next court date was expected to be a June 2 status hearing.
Aquino, 23, of New York City, was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on charges of murder, armed robbery and intimidation of a juror. Aquino was ordered held without bail.
According to authorities, on May 18, 2009, at 4:48 p.m., Harvard University Police responded to Kirkland House, on Dunster Street in Cambridge, on reports of shots fired. Cambridge Police also went to the scene.
Cosby, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen, had left Kirkland House and ran to the intersection of Dunster and Mount Auburn streets, where he collapsed. He was taken to Beth Israel Hospital and pronounced dead at about 4 a.m.
A investigation by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Cambridge Police and Harvard University Police determined that Jabrai Jordan Copney, Jiggetts and Aquino, none of whom were students at Harvard University, arranged for a meeting with Cosby to rob him. During the meeting in a common area inside Kirkland House, shots were fired, one of which hit Cosby. Although a Cambridge resident and Cambridge Rindge & Latin high school graduate, Cosby also was not a student at Harvard; he has been called a drug dealer to students there.
Copney, Jiggetts, and Aquino fled to New York City that evening on a bus from Boston, officials said.
Copney, 20, of New York City, was arrested in connection with the murder May 21 and arraigned the next day in Cambridge District Court on charges of murder, accessory after the fact to murder and possession of a firearm. He was ordered held without bail. On June 26, Copney was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court Grand Jury on counts of first-degree murder, accessory after the fact of murder, attempt to commit a crime, armed robbery and possession of a firearm. He was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on July 22 and ordered held without bail.
Jiggetts was arrested June 9 in Harlem at about 11:50 p.m. by Massachusetts State Police, Cambridge Police and detectives from the New York City Police Department Manhattan North Homicide Unit. He was arrested on a Massachusetts warrant charging him with first-degree murder, accessory after the fact of murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm. On July 10, he was charged in Manhattan as a fugitive from justice and ordered held without bail. Jiggetts was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on July 30 on charges of first-degree murder, accessory after the fact of murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm. Jiggetts was arraigned Sept. 23 in Middlesex Superior Court and ordered held without bail.
Aquino was arrested July 30, at 40 Saint Nicholas Place in Manhattan on a Massachusetts warrant by Massachusetts State Police, Cambridge Police and the New York City Police Department. He was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on July 31, at which point he waived rendition. He was arraigned Aug. 3 in Cambridge District Court and ordered held without bail. He was indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on Sept. 17 on charges of carrying a firearm without a license and accessory after the fact. He was arraigned Sept. 23 in Middlesex Superior Court and ordered to be held without bail.
On March 16, Aquino was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court grand jury on upgraded charges of murder, armed robbery and intimidation of a juror, according to the Middlesex District Attorney Office, which reminded in its press release that the charges are allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutors assigned to the case are Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett and Assistant District Attorney David Solet. The victim witness advocate is Helena Clarke.
This post relies heavily on a Middlesex District Attorney press release.