New England in brief

2 found guilty of murder in 2006 death

September 30, 2008
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Two men were found guilty of first-degree murder yesterday in the 2006 shooting death of a 22-year-old Worcester man, according to the Middlesex district attorney's office. After deliberating five days, a Middlesex District Court jury convicted Walter Norris, 22, of Dorchester, and Valentino Facey, 23, of Cambridge, of murdering Bernard Johnson. The men will be sentenced this morning. Authorities said Facey attempted to rob Johnson at gunpoint outside a party on Linden Street in Somerville. Norris shot Johnson several times after coming outside and seeing Johnson and Facey fighting, the district attorney's office said.

Death of boy in day care investigated
An 11-month-old boy died at a day-care center in Lowell last Wednesday, according to the Department of Early Education and Care. The baby, whose name has not been released, was at a licensed home in the Clarendon Family Day Care system, spokesman Matt Veno said. The cause of death is not known. There is no evidence of foul play, said Corey Welford, a spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr., who is investigating along with local police, State Police, and the Department of Children and Families. The child-care provider has been licensed since 1997, Veno said.

Man pleads not guilty in student stabbing
A Worcester man pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges in the fatal stabbing of the nephew of University of Minnesota basketball coach Tubby Smith. Andre Thompson (above) was arraigned in Worcester Central District Court on charges of armed assault with intent to murder and other counts. The 19-year-old was ordered held without bail until a hearing today. Police said Thompson was involved in a fight Sept. 21 that resulted in the death of William L. Smith, a Becker College freshman from Scotland, Md. (AP)

State cigarette tax expected to increase
A pack of cigarettes could soon cost almost another quarter in New Hampshire. The tax is scheduled to rise from $1.08 to $1.25 tomorrow unless the existing tax brings in $50 million during the three-month period that ends today. . Last spring, legislators made the tax increase conditional after store owners fought it. Even with the increase, the state's tax will be lower than neighboring states. (AP)

11 break-ins reported in a single block
Police are investigating a series of break-ins at 11 office and retail businesses in Lexington overnight on Saturday. The break-ins occurred at the Countryside Business Block at the intersection of Woburn and Lowell streets, said Lieutenant Joseph O'Leary of the Lexington police. At least two people were apparently involved in the overnight thefts, police said. A significant amount of cash and 55 cartons of cigarettes were reported stolen, O'Leary said.

Police seek gunman who robbed bank
Police are looking for a man who robbed an East Walpole bank yesterday afternoon. The suspect entered the Sharon Credit Union on Union Street around 2 p.m. and displayed a black revolver to a teller, said Scott Bushway, deputy chief of the Walpole police. He demanded cash and ordered the five tellers to get on the floor, Bushway said. The suspect was given an unknown amount of money and then fled in a car with a possible accomplice, police said. There were no customers in the bank at the time, and there were no injuries.

Protesters win fight over crabapple tree
Two women who tied themselves to a crabapple tree to protest its removal have rescued the tree and evaded eviction. Lee Perrone, 74, and Pat Henry, 65, protested on several days at their elderly housing complex, after the Housing Authority decided to cut down the tree to relocate a trash bin. Afterward, they received eviction notices. But yesterday, Christopher Uhl, the lawyer for Perrone, Henry, and a third woman threatened with eviction, said the housing authority agreed not to evict the women and the tree will not be removed. (AP)

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