EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

December 1, 2012

Mass. high court to hear appeal in 1974 killing


“Our position is that the use of aliases throughout that time is evidence of his intent to avoid identification, and he should not benefit from those efforts,” said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley.

Prosecutors say Boston police sent an arrest warrant in Matos’ killing to Indiana in September 1974 after discovering that Carr had been arrested on other charges there. In March 1975, Carr was acquitted of the Indiana charges and released, even though the Massachusetts warrant was supposed to serve as a detainer, prosecutors argue in their legal brief filed in the appeal. They say Carr remained in the Midwest, committing occasional crimes under various aliases.

“The commonwealth should not shoulder the blame for Indiana’s blunder or the defendant’s evasive tactics and flight from the commonwealth,” Assistant District Attorney Amanda Teo wrote.

In his appeal, Carr’s lawyer also argues that much of the police file and physical evidence was lost by the time of the trial.

Carr’s lawyer also argues that the trial judge was wrong to deny funds for the defense to hire an expert who could have questioned the reliability of eyewitness identification. Carr could not afford to hire his own expert, Sobelman said.

“There are a lot of psychological and other scientific reasons why identifying someone 20 years later is difficult or maybe even impossible. An expert could have explained this to the jury,” Sobelman said.

Prosecutors, however, said this was not a case that hinged on the identification of a single witness who had never seen him before. Several people who were at the park and knew Carr from the neighborhood identified Carr as the shooter during his trial, though it was three decades later.

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