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Former Harvard Student Charged with Cambridge Murder

Brittney Smith, 22, was recently indicted by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office in connection with the murder of 21 year old Justin Cosby, of Cambridge. Smith, a former Harvard University student, will soon be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on several criminal charges, including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Accessory to Murder After the Fact, Willfully Misleading a Grand Jury Investigation, and Willfully Misleading a Police Officer.

According to reports, the Cambridge Police Department and Harvard University Police responded to a ‘shots fired’ call on May 18, 2009, at a Harvard College dorm. Upon their arrival, they found Justin Cosby had left the dorm and ran to the intersection of Dunster and Mount Auburn Street, where he collapsed from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Based on the criminal investigation by the Massachusetts State Police, Cambridge Police, Harvard University Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, it is alleged that three men from New York arranged to meet Cosby with the goal of robbing him. The meeting took place inside the Kirkland House dorm, at which point several shot were fired.

The criminal defendant, Brittney Smith, was a Harvard student at the time of the incident, who allegedly invited Cosby to the campus and he gave her his Harvard ID, which she in turn gave to the three men to access the building. After the shooting, Cambridge Police alleged that Smith took the gun used in the murder and hid it under a friend’s bed in the dormitory.

Thereafter, Smith and the three men immediately left the Boston area. Smith returned the next day from out of state and is alleged to have lied to Cambridge and Harvard Police about her whereabouts, as well as telling them she had the key pass with her the entire time. After the incident, Harvard University suspended Smith.

Boston Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis:

For this very reason, and I’ve said it over and over again, anyone who is being investigated for a crime, particularly a serious felony crime like a murder or homicide, should immediately consult with a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer before speaking with the police.

As a direct result of her not consulting with a criminal lawyer and having that attorney present when she was questioned by the Cambridge Police Department, it is likely that Brittney Smith’s statements will be used against her in the criminal prosecution. In this particular case, the police were apparently able to determine that her statements were misleading, which led to additional criminal charges being brought against her.

We might never know how strong the case against Brittney Smith’s involvement in this Cambridge murder might have been had she first consulted with a criminal lawyer and not spoken to the police, but it does appear that her failure to do so resulted in additional criminal charged being brought against her.

Remember, if you are questioned by the police with regards to a criminal investigation, it is your Constitutional Right to refuse to answer any questions before consulting with your criminal defense lawyer and to having your attorney present during any questioning.

As a Boston Criminal Attorney with several years experience in defending criminal charges, I am available 24/7. To schedule a Free Consultation to discuss your criminal case, e-mail or call me directly at 617-325-9500.

Read more about this Cambridge Murder as reported by John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane, Boston Globe Staff.