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Teens tied to slaying were 'bored'

By Karin Crompton and Matt Collette

Publication: The Day

Published December 02. 2010 4:00AM   Updated December 02. 2010 4:12PM
Details of Matthew Chew murder emerge from arrest warrant as six arraigned in NL

New London - A clearer and more disturbing picture emerged Wednesday of the details surrounding the murder of Matthew Chew, who was beaten and then killed by a group of teenagers "for no reason" and "because they were bored," according to the warrant for the teens' arrests.

Judge Kevin McMahon read from the sealed arrest warrant as he presided over the arraignment of six teens charged in the case.

McMahon also lashed out at police for creating a "sideshow" when they said in a statement Tuesday that Chew was arranging to buy drugs via cell phone at the time of the attack - a detail he said had nothing to do with Chew's death.

All six teens appeared in New London Superior Court Wednesday. None entered pleas and all of their cases were transferred to New London Superior Court Part A on Huntington Street, where more serious cases are heard. Their hearing dates are to be determined today.

Idris Elahi and Marquis Singleton, both 17, are each charged with murder. McMahon kept Elahi's bond at $1.5 million and Singleton's at $1.25 million.

Matias Perry, Rashad Perry (who are not brothers) and Tyree Bundy, all 17, and Brian Rabell, 18, are each charged with accessory to murder. McMahon kept their bond at $500,000 each.

Chew was walking home on Huntington Street at about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 29 from his job at 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza when he was attacked.

Details from warrant

The judge made reference to facts from the sealed arrest warrants, which allege that all six defendants participated in a "beat-down" of Chew. Elahi and Singleton allegedly each wielded knives and stabbed Chew, who sustained six stab wounds and two cuts to the face, according to McMahon.

McMahon said Chew was attacked so quickly and brutally that he was unable to process what had happened to him.

"'What?' and 'Why?' That's all the victim was able to get out that night as he was brutally attacked by these teens," McMahon said, citing a detail of the attack that one of the teens gave police in an interview, according to the arrest warrant.

Police initially described the murder as drug-related and said the public was not at risk, but they backed off from that assertion with the arrests Tuesday. The police statement Tuesday said Chew did not know his attackers and added that he was using his cell phone to arrange to buy drugs when he was attacked.

Public defender Sean Kelly tried, briefly, to raise that issue during Elahi's arraignment. McMahon cut Kelly off and said that, while he understood Kelly's attempt to use the information, the 10-page warrant made no connection between Chew's actions and the attack.

"I'm not happy with the police department's conduct (Tuesday)," said McMahon, who emphasized that Chew's activities that night had "nothing to do with his death."

"He was just walking down the street," McMahon said.

"This is about six defendants and one deceased, nothing more and nothing less," he said. "The sideshow that's going on is an injustice to Mr. Chew, who's no longer with us."

The warrants appear to include information from at least six witnesses and two security cameras. McMahon at one point referred to a comment by "confidential witness number six" and said the cameras captured all six teens before and after the attack. It was unclear exactly where the cameras are located; McMahon said one camera was at Bank of America.

McMahon said the other four defendants and witnesses all pointed to Elahi as most responsible for what happened.

"They blame him for the predicament they're in," McMahon said during a discussion of Elahi's bail, prompting a stirring from the room and a "That's crazy" from a woman.

"There's a lot of statements, and they all say the same thing: He's the main player," McMahon said, addressing Elahi and his attorney.

Edgy atmosphere

The scene was tense at the courthouse, where extra court officers and Connecticut State Police troopers were on duty.

"I don't want you to force me to do something I don't want to do," McMahon told those in the courtroom early in the day. "There'd better not be any trouble."

The packed courtroom was filled with dozens of teens present to support the six accused. Though they were generally quiet throughout the hours of proceedings, the group became rowdier when the final accused teen, Brian Rabell, was in the courtroom.

As the handcuffed Rabell was ushered out of the courtroom, teens shouted, "We love you, Brian!" and chanted for his release. Court officers quickly ushered them outside. Troopers ordered the angry crowd off court property as teens grew rowdy outside, shouting at law enforcement officials and members of the media.

Throughout most of the day, however, the mood was somber. Supporters hugged each other and wiped away tears while waiting in the courthouse lobby. Others cried openly during the arraignments.

Most of the accused appeared before McMahon with their parents, aunts or uncles at their sides.

At the courthouse Wednesday, Elahi's mother declined comment. Other family members and friends of the six teens did the same.

k.crompton@theday.com

m.collette@theday.com">m.collette@theday.com

Editor's note: Comments have been disabled on this story due to innumerable comments that violated The Day's policy.

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