Thanks in part to a police roundup of 80 individuals over the weekend, Dorchester District Court's cells were packed with over 100 people on Tuesday, some of whom spent the three-day weekend in lock-up.
Precisely how many people the sweep brought to the court itself is unclear, but the first session, where arraignments occur, overflowed with relatives and those who had made bail.
While the court was able to dispense with 30 to 40 cases in the morning, matters slowed down considerably in the afternoon after the regularly-scheduled lunch break, visibly irritating Judge Sydney Hanlon, who presided over the session.
"I've never seen this place so inefficient," she said aloud, having said earlier, "We're going to be here until 10 o'clock at night."
Many of the people hauled in from the sweep were picked up on warrants or had been accused of skipping out of a previous court date, such as Tisean Jones.
Jones, 19, was accused of defaulting on a pre-trial hearing on drug charges.
His court-appointed attorney, Dianna Abdala, said he thought he was due back in court on Jan. 22.
He works a temp job and was supposed to be at a demolition site, she said. Bail was set at $350 and he was ordered back to court on Feb. 13.
Others, such as Krisendat Ganga, police singled out for being part of a gang.
The sweep, done in conjunction with Boston Regional Intelligence Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Massachusetts State Police, the Parole Department, and U.S. Marshals, came after a violent month, particularly in Dorchester, which has been racked with murders and shootings.
Pair accused of gun charges
An 18-year-old and a 23-year-old were charged this week with gun charges stemming from a Dec. 13 incident near Geneva Avenue and Topliff Street.
Krisendat Ganga, 18, and Imran Laltaprasad, 23, were arraigned this week in Dorchester District Court. Judge Sydney Hanlon set bail for Ganga at $5,000; bail for Laltaprasad was set at $10,000. They're both due back in court on Feb. 19.
Three females allege that the two and another male were involved in sticking a gun in their faces. Keith Nicholson, an attorney for Laltaprasad, said his client was working at the Copley Mall when the incident allegedly occured.
Dianna Abdala, the court-appointed attorney for Ganga, said the charges may be in retaliation for an earlier case.
"This whole scenario doesn't seem to make sense," she said, noting that police took about a month to pick him up.
Ganga goes to Bunker Hill Community College and elsewhere for carpentry, she said.
Dot man alleged to have forced woman into prostitution
A 21-year-old Dorchester man was arraigned this week, charged with prostituting a woman against her will in New Jersey, beating her with a belt, and forcing her to have sex in Dorchester with four or five men.
The man was also accused of forcing the woman to take nude photos of herself and post them on Craigslist.com, a classified ads website.
Jonathan Edwards, 21, of Merlin Street, was charged in Dorchester District Court on Tuesday with kidnapping, intimidation of a witness, statuatory rape and assault by means of a dangerous weapon. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Judge Sydney Hanlon set bail at $50,000. Edwards is due back in court on Feb. 8.
Attorney Dianna Abdala, appointed by the court for the bail hearing, said the defendant had never been in the New Jersey area.
Answering charges that he had also defaulted on some warrants, she said he was going through some testing.
The defendant lives with his mother, goes to North Shore Community College and works at W.B. Mason, a Brockton-based office retailer.
Prosecutors also charged Edwards with an Nov. 19 assault and battery case. Police allege that the defendant was mad at his girlfriend over a number in her cell phone.
When she came to his home to drop off money she owed him, he dragged her inside and slapped her, according to the police report.
During the fight, her finger nails were bent off, and police said they saw blood come from the area and a swollen wrist.
As she ran out of the house up to the Codman Square area, police say the suspect stated, "I'll just go to your mother's house and [expletive] you up."
She declined medical assistance, according to the police report.
Abdala said they were engaged in a verbal argument, and everything had been resolved. The woman was in court to support him, she said.
An attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services is expected to take over the case.
Killer gets life for fatally stabbing wife
A 42-year-old Dorchester man was sentenced to life in prison without parole last week, after a Suffolk County jury convicted him in the fatal stabbing of his wife.
Nile Reavis was sentenced by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Patrick Brady in the November 2006 murder of his wife, Sandra, in their Armandine Street home.
Prosecutors alleged that Reavis grabbed the "biggest kitchen knife he could find" to stab his wife in a fit of early morning jealousy, after an argument with her.
Reavis later was taken into custody later that morning, when he went to Boston Medical Center.
Jury deliberation in Blue Hill Ave. death continues
A Suffolk jury continued this week to weigh the fate of Anthony Davis, 25, in the shooting of Barcelone Luc four years ago.
The 24-year-old Luc was shot in the head at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Landor Road in March 2004.
Prosecutors allege that Luc and Davis got into an argument at Joseph's Pizza and later continued it outside, with Davis then shooting Luc in the back of the head with a 9mm semiautomatic.
A jury deadlocked on the charges last year.
Gintautas Dumcius covers court proceedings and law enforcement for the Reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.