A Medford man who witnessed a late-night murder inside his Salem Street apartment in August 2010 and then lied about it to authorities under oath was sentenced Monday to up to 6 years in state prison, the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said.
Roger Beattie, 33, was convicted of two counts of perjury after he told a grand jury that he didn't see his friend and roommate Christopher Toppi on the night Brian Fahy, a 28-year-old Weymouth man, was beaten to death in an upstairs bedroom of the two-story duplex where both men lived.
But investigators said that when Beattie returned home after midnight Aug. 28, he found a man in bed with Toppi's ex-girlfriend and called Toppi, who returned home to confront Fahy.
According to authorities, Toppi arrived at the 382 Salem St. duplex in the early morning hours, had a conversation with Beattie, before he went upstairs and beat Fahy to death with a metal lock wrapped in a towel.
Police and medical personnel arrived about 3:30 a.m. and found Fahy bleeding from the head and mouth, and pronounced him dead on the scene.
Beattie was arraigned five months later in February 2011, and pleaded not-guilty.
On the two counts of perjury Beattie was sentenced to four to six years in state prison by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Sandra Hamlin after a four-day trial, Leone's office said.
"This defendant provided false statements regarding his critical knowledge of matters material to a homicide investigation. Today, he is held accountable for his deliberate attempts to obstruct justice," Leone said in a statement. "This office takes such deliberate tampering with the pursuit of justice very seriously and we will charge those who intentionally interfere with our prosecution of a case."
Toppi, of Cambridge, fled the scene after the assault and was captured a short time later. He was convicted of manslaughter last October, and is serving 15 to 18 years in state prison.