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The Voice Season 2 : James Massone – Find Your Love


For those of you that are curious here is all the information about the murders he spoke of read below


Boston man cinvicted in quadruple murder

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 – WBZ.com

A man has been convicted of shooting to death three members of the rap band Graveside and their friend in a makeshift recording studio in Boston.

Calvin Carnes Jr. was found guilty of four counts of murder and weapons charges in the December 2005 quadruple slayings.

The conviction comes after jurors were forced to restart deliberations twice after the judge dismissed members of the panel for various personal reasons.

A lifelong friend of Carnes identified him as the triggerman. Robert Turner pleaded guilty in April to all charges.


Accused killer takes the stand

June 5, 2008 – MetroBostonNews.com

Calvin Carnes Jr., alleged gunman in the Bourneside Street murders, builds alibi

The alleged gunman in the Bourneside Street quadruple-slaying began to build his alibi before jurors yesterday, taking the stand in a packed Suffolk Superior Court room to describe a night of socializing that put him nowhere near the crime scene.

Calvin Carnes Jr., 21, of Dorchester, said he was smoking marijuana and drinking with friends in a Florida Street apartment building the night of Dec. 13, 2005, when four “friends” were killed execution-style blocks away in a basement music studio.

Then, with a softer voice, Carnes described how he learned of the massacre while watching the news inside his Talbot Street apartment later that night.

“I was crying and I was highly upset,” Carnes said. “I was confused. I was scared because it was highly possible I [could’ve] been there.”

Carnes was a frequent visitor to the Bourneside Street basement of Edwin Duncan’s home. Prosecutors allege that Carnes fatally shot Duncan, 21, Jason Bachiller, 20, Jihad Chankhour, 22, and Chris Vieira, 19 — three of whom recorded music there as part of the rap group ‘Graveside’ — so that he could steal guns stored there.

Carnes’ friend, Robert Turner, was charged with helping his pal flee the scene and stash the guns. He pleaded guilty in April. The defendant said Turner handed him a gun the day after the shooting and made him store it in an associate’s apartment, but had no idea where it came from or “what’s been done with it.”


Allegedly all for the guns

May 20, 2008 – MetroBostonNews.com

Calvin Carnes Jr. lone shooter in Bourneside St. massacre, ADA says

Calvin Carnes Jr. wanted some guns. A friend had one in his hands.

So, in an effort to make off with that man’s weapon, Carnes stole it and wasted away all the potential witnesses in a hail of gunfire, a Suffolk County prosecutor said yesterday in opening arguments for Carnes’ quadruple murder trial.

Carnes, 21, is accused of killing four men inside a Dorchester basement just over two years ago.

According to First Assistant District Attorney Josh Wall, Carnes — who also made off with some stashed weapons after the alleged shooting — used a “spark of evil” to turn a social situation into a bloodbath.

“Calvin Carnes decided he wanted that gun and he wanted the other guns,” Wall told jurors.

“That’s when he took the [gun] and shot and killed Chris Vieira.”

Vieira, 19, was showing off the gun to Carnes and four others.

Three of them — Jason Bachiller, 20; Jihad Chankhour, 22; and Edwin Duncan, 21 — were also killed when Carnes allegedly uncorked a total of 13 bullets into the victims, all from behind.

Carnes’ best friend, Robert Turner, helped the defendant flee and stash the guns.

He pleaded guilty last month to being an accessory to the crime.


Prosecutor: massacre suspect “the one and only shooter”

Suffolk County – Districy Attorney’s Office

May 19, 2008

One man and one man only took the lives of Jason Bachiller, Jihad Chankhour, Edwin Duncan, and Chris Vieira in the basement of 43 Bourneside St. a little more than three years ago, First Assistant District Attorney Josh Wall told a Suffolk Superior Court jury this morning.

It was one man who fired Vieira’s unregistered Glock 9mm again and again and again into the victims’ backs in a bid to steal that weapon and two others – a Mossberg 12-guage shotgun and an AK-47 rifle – on the night of Dec. 13, 2005, Wall said.

And it was one man who stood over the dying victims shortly after 9:30 p.m. and pumped additional rounds into their bodies so that there would be no witnesses against him, Wall told the panel of 12 deliberating jurors and four alternates.

That man, Wall said, was 21-year-old CALVIN CARNES, Jr. (D.O.B. 8/8/86), of Dorchester, whose trial on an 11-count indictment charging four counts of first-degree murder and an additional seven counts of robbery and weapons charges is now under way.

“This was not an evil plan,” Wall said of the slayings during opening statements before Judge Patrick Brady in courtroom 815. “This was a spark of evil – but as you will learn, a spark of evil is every bit as deadly.”

The 20-year-old Bachiller, 21-year-old Duncan, and 19-year-old Vieira were members of a fledgling rap group, Wall said, and would frequently socialize with the 22-year-old Chankhour – “not a member of the music group but a member of the social group” – in the basement of Duncan’s Bourneside Street home.

The foursome had met a few years earlier when they attended Wakefield High School together and shared a passion for hip-hop music and culture. They would listen to and record music in Duncan’s basement, which had been outfitted with couches, a stereo, and recording equipment.

“They didn’t lead the lives of gangsters,” Wall said of the group that called itself Graveside. “But they thought, if you don’t lead the life, maybe you need some props.”

It was as props that the young men had obtained a Mossberg 12-guage shotgun and an AK-47 rifle, Wall said. Those weapons were stored in the Bourneside Street basement unbeknownst to Duncan’s mother and stepfather.

More recently, Wall said, Vieira had also obtained a 9mm semiautomatic Glock handgun and was prone to showing it off and passing it around in gatherings.

One such gathering, Wall said, was on the night of Dec. 13, 2005, when Bachiller, Chankhour, Duncan, and Vieira were joined by Carnes – “not best friends with the group, but a friend, and ROBERT TURNER, Carnes’ best friend,” Wall said.

“Chris Vieira passed that gun around,” Wall said, “and that’s when the spark of evil arose. Calvin Carnes decided he wanted that gun and he wanted the other guns. That’s when he took the Glock and shot and killed Chris Vieira.”

In the heartbeat that followed, Wall said, Carnes took stock of his relationships with Bachiller, Chankhour, and Duncan.

“Now they weren’t friends,” he said. “Now they were witnesses. He rapidly fired at all three, killing all three.”

Carnes fired a total of 15 rounds, Wall said, hitting with 13 of them.

“If he hits 13 times, how many were to the victim’s front? Zero,” he said. “Every shot was to the back – to the back of the head, to the center of the back. This is how desperate he was to get rid of the witnesses. Some of those shots were while they were down – Calvin Carnes stood over them and shot down at them.”

Carnes took Vieira’s car keys and fled the scene with Turner. In the days that followed, the two of them made efforts to hide the weapons and fabricate alibis. The stories they gave police were “a pack of lies,” Wall said, and Carnes even made statements in the hours after the murders in which he relayed information about who had died that no one – not even the victims’ families – knew. Later, he and Turner made efforts to sell the weapons, and Carnes even made deeply incriminating statements to two young women in the aftermath of the carnage.

Carnes and Turner were arrested on May 11, 2006, amid an extensive investigation by Boston Police homicide detectives and Suffolk prosecutors in a special grand jury. Turner (D.O.B. 12/16/86), charged as an accessory after the fact to the murders, pleaded guilty to all charges last month and was sentenced to up to 13 years in state prison.

“From Calvin Carnes’ actions, conduct, statements, and lies in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks after the killings,” Wall told the jurors, “you will know that you’re seated just a few feet away from the one and only shooter and killer of Chris Vieira, Edwin Duncan, Jason Bachiller, and Jihad Chankhour.”

Carnes is represented by attorney Shannon Frison. Testimony is ongoing, with the trial expected to last about six weeks.


Man says he watched as friend killed 4 rap artists

Is sentenced to 13 years for ‘heartless’ actions

By John R. Ellement and Andrew Ryan – The Boston Globe

April 10, 2008

A Dorchester man yesterday admitted that he stood and watched as a longtime friend used a 9mm handgun to fire 15 bullets in the basement of a Dorchester home – killing four aspiring rap artists in 2005 in a crime that stunned the city.

Saying he was so ashamed by his actions he could not look relatives of the victims in the face, Robert Turner pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to four counts of accessory after the fact of murder and unlawful possession of three firearms, including the weapon used in the killings inside the Bourneside Street home. Turner was sentenced to a maximum of 13 years in prison.

“My actions were cowardice and heartless and also selfish,” Turner, 21, said in court, reading quickly from a handwritten note. “I was raised to be strong, no matter what the situation was. . . . My actions were wrong.”

Before Turner was sentenced, the mother of Edwin Duncan, one of the victims and the host of the gathering in the basement recording studio, said she will never be able to forget that Turner and the alleged shooter, Calvin Carnes Jr., were welcomed into their home.

“It’s such an evil, evil crime for someone to do this,” said Darnella Phillips, before she was overwhelmed by emotion. “To come into our home and take their lives – I will never get over that.”

Suffolk First Assistant District Attorney Joshua Wall said Turner should be imprisoned for up to 16 years because he was an eyewitness to the “carnage” who then helped Carnes avoid arrest for about five months.

The Dec. 13, 2005, shooting ended the lives of three members of a rap group known as Graveside and the life of a fourth man who was simply visiting, according to the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

In addition to killing Duncan, 21, who was shot three times, Carnes shot Jason Bachiller, 20, seven times; Christopher Vieira, 19, four times; and Jihad Chankhour, 22, once through his heart as he ran for the door, according to court papers. All 15 shots were fired at the victims from behind, Suffolk prosecutors said.

Bachiller’s aunt, Yvette Bachiller, said her family is devastated by the loss of the bright, caring man who loved music and words so much he would sometimes just sit and read the dictionary. “It was easy to love Jason,” she said.

In court papers, prosecutors said that the 9mm handgun belonged to Viera and that an AK-47 assault rifle and a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun were in the basement studio, weapons that were “not intended for use, but for protection and for show and to impress others in the music world.” The papers state that Carnes and Turner stole the firearms from the basement and hid them.

Wall said Turner found a place in Roxbury to stash the AK-47 and the shotgun – which he eventually destroyed – and fabricated a mutual alibi for Carnes. The weapon used in the killing was recovered in 2006, but prosecutors contend Turner had brief possession of the 9mm handgun after the killings.

Defense lawyer Michael Bourbeau pressed for a maximum sentence of seven years, saying Turner was not a violent man and has been deeply remorseful for playing any kind of role in the deaths of the men with whom he was friendly.

Turner said he regrets not stepping in and stopping the killings, and he expressed hope that relatives of the slain men would consider him someone who made a mistake, “not an animal with no heart.”

Relatives did not speak with reporters after the sentencing.

Turner faced 48 years in state prison if given the maximum, but Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle decided on a total of 13 years of imprisonment, citing Turner’s remorse, his minimal criminal history, and the fact that prosecutors had no evidence showing he knew that Carnes would kill the four acquaintances.

Turner has already served about two years awaiting trial, making him potentially eligible for parole in about nine years. He has not agreed to testify against Carnes, who is scheduled to go on trial May 16, according to both Wall and Bourbeau.

Carnes’s lawyer, Shannon Frison, said yesterday that prosecutors have a weak case against her client and that witnesses, including Turner, have told varying accounts of what happened that evening.

Carnes, she added, denies being the killer. “Absolutely not,” she said. “We are looking forward to showing that at trial.”


2 plead not guilty in quadruple slaying

By Suzanne Smalley – The Boston Globe

May 23, 2006

The alleged triggerman in Boston’s bloodiest crime in a decade took a semi-automatic handgun from one victim, then used it to shoot four young men from behind in a “cold-blooded execution,” a prosecutor said yesterday.

Jason Bachiller , 19, was shot seven times, including in the head and neck, said Assistant District Attorney David Meier . His fellow members of the rap group Graveside, Christopher Vieira , 19, and Edwin “E.J.” Duncan , 21, were also shot multiple times, including in the head. Jihad Chankhour , 22, who was visiting the group’s makeshift recording studio in the basement of a home on Bourneside Street in Dorchester, was shot once through the heart as he tried to escape.

Meier did not declare a motive for the Dec. 13 shootings, but said the two 19-year-old defendants took the handgun, an AK-47 rifle, and a shotgun from the basement and later tried to sell them. The rifle and shotgun were stored in the basement and were “not intended for use, but for protection and for show and to impress others in the music world,” Meier said.

Calvin L. Carnes Jr. of Dorchester pleaded not guilty yesterday to four counts of first-degree murder and robbery and weapons charges. Robert B. Turner of Boston pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and other charges. Both were ordered held without bail.

Meier, who led a grand jury probe into the killings, said investigators have amassed a large amount of physical and other evidence implicating the defendants, including:

Carnes’s fingerprint in Vieira’s Ford Escort, which was stolen from the scene of the crime.

Blood from one victim in the driver’s seat area of the Escort.

Witnesses who saw a man matching Carnes’s physical description leaving the crime scene.

Witnesses who saw Carnes and Turner in possession of Vieira’s “distinctive looking” handgun in the months after the murder.

Witnesses who say the defendants tried to fabricate an alibi by enlisting their help.

Cellphone records placing Carnes and Turner near the crime scene the night of the killings.

Witnesses who say the defendants tried to sell them the stolen guns.

Stephen Weymouth , the lawyer representing Carnes, said in an interview yesterday that his client is not guilty of the charges and has no history of violence. Carnes and Vieira were friends, Weymouth said, arguing that it is likely Carnes left his fingerprint in the Escort on a prior occasion.

Weymouth said he was struck by Carnes’s demeanor when he met with him on Sunday at the Roxbury police station where he was jailed after his arrest Friday night.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I expected someone much more hardened,” Weymouth said. “He was upset and he was crying.”

Weymouth said Carnes had been living in Wareham with his parents and working in construction for his father’s company.

Turner’s attorney declined to comment.

Deputy Superintendent Daniel Coleman, the head of the Boston Police homicide unit, said yesterday that the arrests are just the first step in the effort to prove Carnes’s and Turner’s guilt. He said a special grand jury empaneled in March will continue to hear evidence. Police used the grand jury to compel nearly 50 witnesses to testify under oath and to present some 75 pieces of evidence.

Standing in the courthouse foyer as relatives and friends of the victims gathered in the sun outside, Coleman acknowledged the criticism leveled at the Police Department for solving only about a third of last year’s 75 homicides, a 10-year-high.

“There are a lot of families out there that don’t get this day,” he said. “That’s a personal and professional frustration for me.”

Chris Mitchell, 22, one of dozens of friends and relatives who packed the courtroom, wore a T-shirt with the four victims’ pictures and a tattoo with their nicknames and the date of their deaths. He said the day was doubly tragic because of who is accused of killing the four youths. He said Bachiller and Carnes had been neighbors in an apartment complex and were close friends.

“He [Bachiller] was the godfather to [Carnes’s] child,” Mitchell said. “It’s like a movie. We could do a movie out of it.”


2 arrested in slaying of four in Dorchester

Police say meticulous case built in killings at a studio

By Suzanne Smalley and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff – Boston.com

May 20, 2006

Boston police arrested two teenagers yesterday in the shooting deaths of four young men in a Bourneside Street basement recording studio in December, the city’s deadliest crime in a decade.

Within hours of asking for the public’s help, officers apprehended the alleged triggerman in a car in Wareham last night, according to a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case. Calvin L. Carnes Jr., 19, of Dorchester faces four murder charges, as well as charges of armed robbery.

Yesterday afternoon, Robert B. Turner, 19, of Boston, was apprehended in Dorchester and is to be arraigned Monday on charges of being an accessory after the fact.

The slayings shocked Boston and capped a year in which the homicide count climbed to a 10-year high of 75.

Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole praised the department’s homicide squad and the Suffolk district attorney’s office yesterday for meticulously building the case against the two men over the past six months.

”I hope these charges send a strong message to our communities: The Police Department will work tirelessly to bring murderers to justice,” O’Toole said. ”It may take time to build a case and get it right, but this department will never give up.”

The department has been criticized for making arrests or identifying suspects in only about one-third of last year’s homicides. But O’Toole pointed out yesterday that police had also made an arrest last week in the slaying of Dominique Samuels, who was found strangled and burned in Franklin Park on April 30.

”These charges on the heels of the arrest last week in the Dominique Samuels murder should silence the critics,” the commissioner said.

But in an interview last night, Calvin Carnes Sr. said police have the wrong man.

He said his son would never have harmed the four young men and said his son attended at least one funeral for the youths. ”They were his friends,” he said. ”One of them was his neighbor, his next-door neighbor.”

While neither officials nor arrest warrants filed yesterday in Dorchester District Court explicitly describe the alleged motive, the warrants say that Carnes is charged with stealing a 9mm Glock pistol, an AK-47 rifle, and a shotgun from the victims. Carnes is also charged with stealing one of the victim’s cars, a 1998 Ford Escort, after the slayings, according to the court records. He is also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of an assault weapon, and possession of a shotgun.

The arrest warrants say that Turner assisted Carnes after the killings, although they do not detail any steps he allegedly took on Carnes’s behalf. Besides four counts of accessory after the fact of murder, Turner is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of an assault weapon, and possession of a shotgun. Police declined to say last night whether either Carnes or Turner has a record of serious crimes.

Jason Bachiller, 21; Edwin ”E.J.” Duncan, 21; and Christopher Vieira, 19, were slain in the makeshift recording studio used by their rap group, which friends say they named Graveside to try to sound tougher than they were. Also, slain was Jihad Chankhour, 22, a friend of the group.

Family members of the four victims, who met as students at Wakefield Memorial High School, have made emotional pleas for justice and have said they were at a loss to explain why the young men were targeted.

Linford Duncan, whose son E.J. lived in the Dorchester house where the killings occurred, said the arrests give him some satisfaction that his son’s killers didn’t ”get away with murder.”

”I think E.J. would feel real good about this,” Duncan said. ”He’ll probably rest in peace now with these guys going to jail.”

His son was trying to obtain a gun permit to protect himself, Duncan said, though he said he did not know whether his son had a gun when he was killed.

”When you do those rap shows and all that, a lot of stupid stuff goes on,” Duncan said, explaining why his son wanted a weapon.

A brother of Chankhour’s said he doesn’t know Carnes or Turner. ”Hopefully, they’ll get their due and their day in court, but it’s not going to bring any of the four kids back,” said the brother, who declined to be named because he doesn’t want publicity. ”We always had faith in the Boston police and all the detectives who were all working hard on the case.”

Carnes and Turner, who were the subjects of a special grand jury investigation that began in March, have been the focus of significant police interest since soon after the Dec. 13 slayings on Bourneside Street, two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the investigation have said.

Assistant District Attorney David Meier led the grand jury effort, which officials yesterday said involved interviewing nearly 50 witnesses and presenting nearly 75 exhibits.

”The jurors heard and saw evidence painstakingly collected and developed by Boston homicide detectives,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. ”That evidence led to and continually pointed to Calvin Carnes and Robert Turner. Today the volume of that evidence reached a point where we had probable cause to charge these men with the murders and get them off the streets immediately.”

In February, about a month before the grand jury probe began, Carnes and Turner were arrested on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester on trespassing charges after gang unit officers and a State Police K-9 officer sought Turner on an unrelated arrest warrant, according to court records.


Family, friends still ache over four slayings

Dorchester case remains a mystery

By Suzanne Smalley – The Boston Globe

January 13, 2006

One month after four young men were found shot to death in the basement recording studio of a Dorchester home, law enforcement officials say they are optimistic they will bring the killers to justice.

But some relatives and friends are starting to get frustrated and wonder whether an arrest will ever be made.

On Bourneside Street, the scene of Boston’s deadliest crime in a decade, much has changed. Some residents say they are leaving the quiet, tree-lined block for the suburbs. The mother of one of the victims has already left town. The three-story house where the killings occurred has a new resident.

”Investigators from the Boston police homicide unit have reviewed extensive evidence,” Deputy Superintendent Daniel Coleman, who is head of the department’s homicide unit, said in a statement yesterday. ”I am pleased with the progress they are making. . . . The department’s primary objective in all homicide cases is the effective prosecution of those responsible for these horrific crimes. Therefore, a rush to make an arrest in any case could jeopardize this process.”

Police have said that there was no sign of forced entry and that drugs, robbery, and gang-related activity are not likely motives. For weeks, the families of the victims — who, friends say, named their rap group Graveside in a bid to sound tougher than they were — have tried in vain to understand why anyone would kill them.

Even as the investigation progresses under a veil of secrecy, new details are emerging about the case and the lives of the four young menChristopher Vieira, 19; Edwin ”E.J.” Duncan, 21; Jason Bachiller, 21; and Jihad Chankhour, 22. The information includes:

– Contrary to some published reports, police did not recover a gun from Vieira’s Ford Escort when it was found parked near the Ashmont MBTA station a few days after the slayings, two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the investigation said this week.

– A small amount of marijuana was found at the crime scene, Coleman has told the Globe.

– Vieira was stopped by police in his hometown of Wakefield wearing a bulletproof vest about three months before his death, Wakefield police Lieutenant John MacKay said yesterday.

– About a year before his death, Vieira was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver after a fight over liquor, Duncan’s father, Linford Duncan, and Vieira’s cousin, Joey Lourenco, said this week.

Lourenco said the stabbing occurred in Stoneham during a party after Vieira stopped some Boston youths from stealing a bottle of liquor. Vieira’s lung collapsed during the stabbing, Lourenco said, and he was hospitalized for several days.

It’s not clear whether the assailant has been arrested. Vieira’s mother, Elizabeth Barani, declined to be interviewed.

The two law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they do not have permission to discuss the case, said Boston police looked into the stabbing, though they would not discuss whether it is connected to the slayings.

For Linford Duncan, Vieira’s stabbing is one of the only possible explanations for the violence that took his son. Duncan said that when E.J. told him about his friend’s stabbing, he said he hoped Vieira would learn and change from the experience.

”I’m just putting one and one together,” Duncan said. ”The man got stabbed up, and the way E.J. described Chris to me he’s not the type of person to forget about it.”

Pierre Leary, a 19-year-old friend of Duncan’s who occasionally rapped with Graveside, said the killings have devastated his group of friends and sparked suspicion among them.

”Whoever it was was somebody who knows they were there,” Leary said. ”They zipped off in Fat Boy’s [Vieira’s] car. They had to know it was his car. E.J. didn’t let everybody know where he lived. Whoever went there had to have gone there before or had to go there with somebody who knew them.”

Chankhour’s sister, Jamileh Kessilyas, said the notion that her family-oriented brother could have known his killer seems unfathomable. She said police have not questioned any members of her family.

Kessilyas said her brother was a homebody who doted on his Syrian immigrant parents. The last time any of Chankhour’s family members saw him, she said, was a few hours before he died, when Vieira came by the family’s Wakefield home to pick him up.

”He held my mother . . . tickled her,” Kessilyas said. ”Next thing, she hears a beep, and he left.”

Chankhour’s family believes that he was at Duncan’s house the night he died to help fix some equipment the rap group used, which friends have said had broken in the days before their deaths.

”He’s a technician; he liked everything to be fixed,” Kessilyas said. ”Anybody can ask him for a favor. ‘OK, I’ll be there.’ . . . That’s what hurts even more.”

Linford Duncan spends his days gazing at newspaper clippings chronicling his son’s violent death.

”All you can do is guess,” Duncan said.

But gazing at photos of his son on the far wall, Linford Duncan said that, ultimately, solving the mystery of who killed E.J. doesn’t mean that much.

”It’s not going to bring him back,” he said.


A rap crew’s hope, loss

World they sang of collided with middle-class lives

By Brian MacQuarrie and Cristina Silva – The Boston Globe

December 21, 2005

They would hear their favorite rappers boast of ”bling-bling” and ”thug life” on the radio. They were 12-year-olds, from a middle-class Dorchester neighborhood, but Edwin ”E.J.” Duncan and Jelani Haynes thought they could do it better. With a used keyboard and a beat-box machine, they set out for hip-hop glory.

They first performed for the youth group at their church, lacing Gospel lyrics over secular beats so their devout Christian parents wouldn’t mind.

They called themselves Graveside, a name that lent them street cred and made their mothers roll their eyes.

Four more boys eventually joined the crew, two of them from Wakefield, where Duncan was a Metco student.

In 2002, the six teenagers opened for the rapper Talib Kweli at a club on Lansdowne Street.

Fame seemed imminent. Duncan set up a makeshift studio in the basement of the Bourneside Street three-decker where he lived with his mother and stepfather. There, the group, now young men, composed songs about ”sexy” handguns and about bodies ripped apart by bullets.

This summer, they recorded a CD and began handing out discs to anyone who they thought might help them get a contract.

But last week, the violent world that Graveside rapped about collided with their middle-class reality.

Duncan and two other members of the group, Jason ”J” Bachiller, 21, and Christopher ”Fat Boy” Vieira, 19, were listening to music in their studio with a friend, Jihad Chankhour, 22, when officials say a lone gunman entered the basement and fatally shot them.

All were killed in quick, bloody succession.

Now, officials are trying to put together the pieces of the worst multiple homicides in Boston in a decade.

Police said they had obtained a warrant Monday to search a Ford Escort they found early Saturday afternoon near the Ashmont MBTA station.

Vieira’s black Ford Escort was taken from Duncan’s house on the night of the shootings.

Friends and family members said they did not know why anyone would have opened fire in the Graveside studio or why, in just one fatal moment, more than nine years of hard work and fantasies of celebrity had been wiped out.

”E.J. was all about making it happen,” Haynes, 21, said last week as he fielded a chorus of calls from friends and family offering condolences. ”It was his dream.”

Haynes’s and Duncan’s parents had lived across the street from each other in Dorchester and had never met, until their mothers were admitted to the same hospital before giving birth to the boys. Haynes’s mother, Alveta, said the boys ”were friends at birth.”

The boys became inseparable. They attended religion classes together on Saturdays, shared birthday celebrations, and found they were obsessed with music.

”We loved what we heard on the radio,” Haynes said. Shortly after they learned to write, the pair began slapping their own rhymes over the beats they had heard from their boom boxes. By middle school, they were performing gospel rap at Sunday services at Eliot Congregational Church in Roxbury.

”We didn’t have rap names or anything; we were just writing,” Haynes said. ”We were developing our musical ear and seeing what sounded good.”

As rap became increasingly commercial, Haynes said he and Duncan had grown weary of artists who referred to brands in their lyrics and rapped about the ”bling-bling” lifestyle of excessive spending and ostentation.

”What we wanted to do was something different,” Haynes said. ”We wanted to take it upon ourselves to make something that wasn’t about that.”

In 1999, Haynes and Duncan invited two other childhood friends to start the group that became Graveside. The name was a play on Bourneside Street, where Duncan had recently moved.

”We couldn’t think of a group name for the longest time,” Haynes said. ”We were all just too young, and we just thought it was cool. As far as the meaning of Graveside, we never really thought about it. We all had different interpretations, I guess.”

In the two first years, the youths practiced in Duncan’s living room, rapping during the daytime to avoid disturbing his family. Duncan taught himself to play a keyboard a friend had given him, and the group started to create its own beats.

Their first official performance was in 2002 at a talent show in Dorchester sponsored by Coca Cola. Graveside did not take home the top prize, but the boys were not discouraged. They performed three original songs, but lost to a younger group who sang and danced.

”We never danced,” Haynes said. ”We weren’t upset that we didn’t win. We just thought: ‘Oh, they let the little kids win. OK.’ ”

At the time, Duncan was enrolled at Wakefield Memorial High School through Metco, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. That is the program that sends minority students from Boston to suburban schools.

At Wakefield, Duncan met Bachiller and Vieira and invited them to join the group. The original group members welcomed the Wakefield teenagers with open minds, Haynes said.

”Everybody has something good to offer talent-wise,” he said. ”Beyond that, we were cool as people, not just in the group.”

Each member had his own rhyming style, lending Graveside a unique sound that seemed to be gaining momentum.

In 2002, the group opened for Kweli at Karma on Lansdowne Street. Last year, Graveside opened for the popular R&B group Jagged Edge at Lido’s in Revere, Haynes said.

Though most of the members were entering college, they still made an effort to lay out tracks during school vacations, always regrouping in Duncan’s basement studio, a narrow space with electronic equipment, to play their music, and to dream.

”They were searching for a manager,” said Alveta Haynes. ”They were worried about finding someone credible who could help them. They didn’t want to be taken advantage of.”

This summer, Graveside recorded its first record, entitled ”Offical Basement Files, Volume 1.” The 13-track demo CD was produced by Peter Mazalewski, who hosts a hip-hop show as Mr. Peter Parker on WBOT 97.7 FM.

”They were happy kids, always smiling, always positive,” he said.

Graveside hoped the work would jump start a recording career, Mazalewski said. Instead, three of the groups’ members lives ended last week.

Drugs, robbery, and gang-related activity do not appear to have been motives for the slayings, police said. The absence of any sign of forced entry indicates that the gunman knew the victims.

Bridget Adams, who had been the Metco administrator at Wakefield High from 2002 to 2004, described Duncan and Bachiller as close friends who often visited her.

”They were always gentlemen,” Adams said. ”They were very serious about their music. I never saw them ill-tempered or behaving inappropriately.”

Vieira was said to have been the funny one, Bachiller the handsome one, and Duncan, the determined leader.

Duncan’s dream, she said, was to be a music producer. He also played drums as part of the muscial accompaniment at church services at Eliot Church. But Duncan had experienced tragedy. His grandmother died on Thanksgiving weekend. His half-brother, Leon Bocage, was shot to death in Roxbury on March 16.

Chankhour, a close friend of Vieira’s who had hoped to become a computer technician, was visiting the house to check out the recording equipment, said his uncle, John Chankhour. Chankhour, whose family immigrated to the United States from Syria in 1988, had taught himself how to DJ at family parties, his uncle said.

”They weren’t gangsters,” Mazalewski said. ”It was a release for them. It was like a movie.”


Dead mourned; hunt is launched

Killing of four in Dorchester jolts community

By Donovan Slack and Megan Tench – The Boston Globe

December 15, 2005

Police hunted last night for whoever carried out Boston’s deadliest crime in a decade, as grief for four men killed in a amateur recording studio in Dorchester rippled through the local hip-hop community and reverberated as far away as Wakefield.

Police identified two victims of the shootings Tuesday night as Edwin Duncan, 21, of Dorchester, and Jihad Chankhour, 22, of Wakefield. A senior police official identified the other two as Jason Bachiller, 21, and Christopher Vieira, 19.

All four attended Wakefield High School, and at least three were members of a rap group called Graveside, whose music had become known in local hip-hop circles. The group’s lyrics often focused on guns and violence, but friends and relatives said yesterday that the victims were ”good kids” who used harsh words as an outlet and didn’t deserve to die violently.

The four men were found in a basement family room that had been fitted with recording equipment, according to a law enforcement official who described a ”very bloody” scene Tuesday night. One was inside the doorway, two others lay next to each other about five feet away, and the fourth was at the far end of the room, sitting near the equipment, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no permission had been given to speak publicly. There were no obvious signs of struggle, nor visible signs that the victims tried to escape.

”It looks like [the killer] shot where he found them,” the official said. ”It was very, very fast.”

In their only public comments on the quadruple homicide, Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley expressed condolences yesterday to the victims’ families while vowing to catch the killer or killers.

”This will not stand unanswered,” Conley said. ”We answer violence with a painstaking and thorough investigation.”

Police asked for help in finding a car driven by one of the victims before the shootings, a black 1998 Ford Escort with tinted windows. Deputy Superintendent Daniel Coleman, who heads the homicide unit, did not give a plate number, saying that the driver may have switched plates, but said that finding the car was important.

Coleman said a motive had not been established for the slayings, but stressed that preliminary information suggested the victims were not involved with gangs.

Duncan had spoken to his girlfriend about an hour before the shooting, his sister, Tia Duncan, said yesterday.

She said her brother and Bachiller were ”just hanging out playing music” and waiting for another member of Graveside to arrive.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to Bourneside Street, where they found three men dead and the fourth with multiple gunshot wounds. The fourth was later pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.

The deaths pushed the number of homicides in the city this year to 71, the most in a single year since 1995, when there were 96. The rampage was the deadliest since November 1995, when four men were gunned down at a 99 Restaurant & Pub in Charlestown.

As a crush of media waited outside the three-story house in Dorchester where Edwin Duncan lived and Graveside died, friends and relatives gathered yesterday to console each other.

Duncan had longed to be a music producer, relatives said, and when he wasn’t working the grill in Wendy’s at Logan International Airport, the 6-foot-4-inch Wakefield High School graduate was in the basement, playing with different instruments in the studio his mother had built for him.

”He didn’t deal in those type of circles for us to say, ‘Oh, we knew something was going to happen’ said his sister, Linette Duncan.

”He didn’t live that type of life,” Duncan said. ”This here is like walking to the store to get soda and getting hit by a car.”

Duncan had been a student in METCO, the program that sends minority students from Boston to suburban schools.

He had made quick friends with Bachiller at Wakefield High, school officials said.

The two often visited Bridget Adams, METCO administrator at the school from 2002 to 2004, and talked about their music.

Adams said Graveside often opened for more established rap performers when they came to Boston.

”They were very proud of their work, and I believe they were well respected,” Adams said.

One local radio host said the group had just begun to develop on the hip-hop scene. Pete Mazalewski, who broadcasts as Peter Parker on WBOT (97.7 FM), played host on Graveside’s demo tape, which was recorded in Duncan’s basement studio.

”It was good,” Mazalewski said. ”Edwin’s studio was hot.”

Bachiller, who used to work at an audio production company, had ”all the potential in the world,” Mazalewski said.

Vieira was a ”cool kid,” and Duncan was a ”really passionate rapper and producer.”

The lyrics on their demo feature ”nothing but gun talk, rhetoric, and violence,” but Mazalewski said the lyrics are typical hip-hop fare and don’t reflect the musicians’ real personalities.

Chankhour had worked as a Comcast technician and liked to deejay as a hobby, family members said. In high school, he was the type to spin music at a dance instead of inviting a date, a cousin said

Vieira had gone to Chankhour’s house to pick him up the evening of the shooting, and Chankhour’s family worried when he didn’t come back home. They were called yesterday afternoon to identify his body at the morgue.

”He comes from a good family,” said his cousin, Iyman Wanis, a 31-year-old Wakefield resident. ”This is all a shock to us.”

Early yesterday, before being officially notified of her son’s death, Vieira’s mother said she knew police were looking for her son’s car.

”He was close to those kids who got shot,” said Elizabeth Perez Barani, also a Wakefield resident. ”They were like his brothers.”

Through relatives, she declined to comment on his death yesterday afternoon.

At Wakefield High School yesterday, officials assembled a crisis team of counselors, administrators, and teachers to help students deal with the deaths.

”It’s a tragedy that we’re all deeply saddened by,” Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Malinowski said in an interview. ”We’re grieving the loss of four students. Every comment I’ve heard is that they were great kids.”

Malinowski, who lives in Boston, said the city has become a national ”teenage murder capital.”

”And we add four, which is mind boggling,” he said. ”We’re all shaken by this.”


4 slain in Dorchester house

Victims found in basement in city’s deadliest shooting since ’91

By Ralph Ranalli – The Boston Globe

December 14, 2005

Four people were shot dead in a startling attack inside the basement of a Dorchester house last night.

It appeared to be Boston’s deadliest shooting since the execution-style murder of five people in an underground Chinatown gambling parlor in 1991.

Boston Police Superintendent Bobbie Johnson said the shooting occurred shortly before 10 p.m. on Bourneside Street, which is near Fields Corner. Police who responded found four men in their late teens to early 20s. Three were dead. The fourth, a 21-year-old suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.

Police stressed that the gunfire erupted inside the home and that the attack did not appear random. Police said they received preliminary reports of a heavy-set male leaving the house after the shooting, but said they didn’t have enough details to put out a description.

”Generally speaking, when a homicide is indoors, it’s not a random incident,” Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole said late last night. ”But it’s too early to speculate what the motive is.”

Police did not release the identities the victims or other details.

The deaths brought the city’s homicide total this year to 71, the most since 1995, and reignited anger and concern among residents about the wave of violence.

”This is crazy,” said the Rev. Eugene Rivers, who lives adjacent to the house where the shootings occurred, on the street of spacious, well-kept homes a block from Dorchester Avenue. ”And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Johnson said neighbors had seen young people often going in and out of the house where the shootings occurred. But neighbors had not complained to police about the foot traffic, because the young people were not excessively loud or troublemakers, he said. Johnson and neighbors said the eldest son of the family living in the home had some sort of music studio in the basement.

”I’d like to reiterate that this incident happened in the basement, not outside,” Johnson told reporters at the scene late last night. ”Even if we had had 100 cops on the beat, we wouldn’t have been able to prevent it.”

A female neighbor who did not give her name said she heard a single gunshot and raced outside to see what had happened. Rivers, founder of the Ten Point Coalition, a group that helped curb Boston’s gang violence in the 1990s, said that his daughter had heard a gunshot and a woman scream and was very upset about the incident. ”Boy that gave me a scare,” he said.

Neighbors said the family had lived for some time in the house where the shooting occurred.

Tom Gannon, president of the Fields Corner Civic Group, went to the shooting scene. He said it’s extremely unusual to have trouble on the street, which he described as part of the Melville Park area.

”I’ve lived here since 1955, and this isn’t normal,” he said. ”The biggest noise you usually hear in this neighborhood is kids over there across the street playing baseball and basketball and football in the park.”

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