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DiMaitis offer condolences to Stuart kin

Respond to death of killer’s brother

Matthew Stuart (right) was arraigned on drug charges in 1997. Matthew, Charles Stuart’s brother, was found dead Saturday. Matthew Stuart (right) was arraigned on drug charges in 1997. Matthew, Charles Stuart’s brother, was found dead Saturday. (Tom Landers/Globe Staff/File)
By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / September 5, 2011

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The murder of Carol DiMaiti Stuart at the hands of her husband, Charles Stuart, stunned the city of Boston more than two decades ago. Yesterday, with a single sentence, her family extended sympathy to the relatives of Charles’s brother, Matthew, who died over the weekend and who had admitted to hiding evidence after the murder.

“Our condolences go out to the family of Matthew Stuart,’’ said the DiMaiti family in a written statement.

Members of both families could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Matthew Stuart was found dead Saturday inside a shelter on School Street in Cambridge run by the nonprofit Heading Home. Authorities have not released details about his death, except to say that it does not appear to be suspicious.

Wendy Jacobs, deputy executive director of Heading Home, said yesterday that Matthew’s death was a “tragic situation’’ and also offered condolences to his family.

“As you can understand, everyone at Heading Home is grief-stricken,’’ she said in an e-mail. “We put a tremendous amount of time and effort, and ourselves, [into providing] our clients with not only housing but a supported pathway to self-sufficiency. We try so incredibly hard to help the people in our community who want to get on a better path.’’

Charles Stuart, 29 at the time of the slaying, told police on the night of Oct. 23, 1989 that a black man had shot and robbed him and Carol, then 33 and pregnant with their son, in Mission Hill as they left a childbirth class at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Charles shot himself in the abdomen as part of his cover story. Doctors saved the couple’s child, Christopher, but he died 17 days later.

Charles jumped off the Tobin Bridge on Jan. 4, 1990, after Matthew confessed to police that he had helped him get rid of the weapon and other evidence on the night of the killing.

Matthew pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy, insurance fraud, and possession of a firearm, in exchange for three to five years in prison. He was released in 1995 but later arrested in Revere on drug charges, which were ultimately dropped.

Yesterday in an e-mail, a friend described Matthew as a man tormented over the killing, which aggravated racial tensions in the city and led police to initially focus on William Bennett, a black man who had a criminal record at the time of the investigation.

“In my opinion the ‘demons’ of that October night in ’89 never stopped torturing him,’’ said the friend, Steven Gerard. Gerard did not provide his age or hometown.

He said Matthew was well liked in the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge, and that he was trying to find a home.

He and Matthew had planned to watch the Boston College football game on Saturday, he said.

Matthew, he said, had a gentle bearing, despite living in difficult circumstances.

“In all this turmoil Matt . . . never raised a hand in anger,’’ Gerard said. “He was one of the ‘kindest souls’ I have ever met.’’

An autopsy to determine the cause of his death is planned by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

A spokesman for the state agency that oversees the office could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.