November 7, 2007
A 15 year-old Mattapan teen was arrested Tuesday and charged with manslaughter in the June murder of a 41 year-old man that stunned the Lower Mills neighborhood.
The teen, whose identity was not divulged because of his age, was 14 at the time of the attack. According to a statement released this week by police and prosecutors, the teen was "identified during the course of an extensive and ongoing Grand Jury investigation."
The victim, Michael Hansbury, was assaulted and fatally injured on the night of June 5 outside of a home at 7 Monson St., just steps away from his own home. According to Boston Police, witnesses on the scene said that Hansbury had a confrontation with a group of teens and that one of the group stepped up and assaulted Hansbury. Police found Hansbury unconscious on the ground, bleeding from his mouth. He died a week later at Boston Medical Center.
The teen suspect was arrested Tuesday by the Boston Police Fugitive and Apprehension Team. Reporters were not allowed to observe the teen's arraignment on Tuesday afternoon at Dorchester District Court.
Hansbury's death last June prompted outrage in the Lower Mills community, where neighbors and civic activists quickly focused their attention on a property at 28 Sanford St. they claim has been a regular source of trouble in the heavily-residential warren of sidestreets between Morton Street and River Street. In August, police seized a pit bull and arrested two teens at that address after a Morton brawl sent four people to the hospital.
The house at 28 Sanford is owned by the Shawmut Community Church of God, which once used the home as a parsonage, but has rented the property out to tenants since May 2006. Eviction proceedings against the tenants at 28 Sanford were initiated last summer and, on Thursday, Oct. 25, the family that neighbors say were terrorizing them for more than a year, finally moved out. There is no indication yet whether the teen arrested Tuesday in the Hansbury murder is connected to 28 Sanford.
Justin Holmes, a spokesperson for City Council President Maureen Feeney, confirmed that a constable hired by the church has verified that 28 Sanford has been vacated. Further, Holmes said that the family in question has been stripped of their Section 8 housing voucher by the Boston Housing Authority. The voucher was used to help pay for the rent at 28 Sanford.
Kevin Chin, the property manager for the church, says that the future of the house remains uncertain.
"Right now we plan to clean it up," Chin told the Reporter. "Surprisingly, there's not as much damage as we anticipated on the inside. They just left it very filthy. Nothing that a good mop can't cure.
"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with [the property]," Chin said. "That's something I have to talk to the leadership [of the church] about."