Derrick Hunt, 21 of Roxbury, and Jose Maysonet, 19, of Boston, were both arraigned this morning in Boston Municipal Court on charges of Intimidation of a Witness in connection with the Murder of Alex Sierra, 18.
Sierra was shot this past weekend in Boston's South End, allegedly by Ricardo Arias. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Hunt and Maysonet, friends of Arias, allegedly threatened a witness prior to Arias' arraignment.
In Massachusetts, the crime of Intimidation of a Witness is defined as the attempt to influence or intimidate a witness or to interfere with a criminal investigation. The potential penalty upon conviction for this crime is for any term up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections; or up to 10 years in state prison.
Intimidation of a Witness was specifically passed to encompass a wide variety of acts that may be interpreted to influence any stage of a criminal proceeding. In recent years, for example, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has defined intimidation as included even pointing a cell phone camera at a witness waiting to testify.
In recent years, prosecutors are more frequently using this statute to charge persons with Intimidation of a Witness if they are interviewed and either lie or mislead police in their criminal investigation.
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