Six suspects arraigned; judge criticizes police
New London – A judge upheld the high bond for the teens charged with murdering Matthew Chew, while also blasting the police department for creating a "sideshow" with allegations that Chew was buying drugs when he was attacked.
Judge Kevin McMahon presided over the arraignment of Idris Elahi and Marquis Singleton, both 17. Neither entered pleas and their cases were continued to Dec. 13 and transferred to New London Superior Court Part A on Huntington Street.
"The victim's activities had nothing to do with his death," said McMahon. "I'm not happy with the police department's conduct yesterday. This is about six defendants and one deceased. And the sideshow that is going on with Mr. Chew is nothing more than that: a sideshow."
Elahi's bond remains at $1.5 million and Singleton's at $1.25 million.
The four other teens charged with accessory to murder were arraigned later this afternoon at New London Superior Court. Matias Perry, Rashad Perry and Tyree Bundy, all 17, and Brian Rabell, 18, were ordered held on $500,000 bond each.
The six teens were kept separate and were not all in the same building at the same time due to space constraints. All six are due to return to court on Dec. 13, appearing in the Huntington Street courthouse, where more serious cases are heard.
McMahon, reading from a sealed arrest warrant, said the teens acted "without motive and because they were bored."
"He was just walking down the street," McMahon said of Chew.
The courtroom was packed with teenagers and supporters of the six New London teens arrested Tuesday. All will be assigned public defenders. Relatives and friends declined to speak with reporters.
"I don't want to talk," said a man who identified himself as Singleton's father. "This is about my son's life. I don't want to talk."
McMahon said that the sealed 10-page arrest warrant alleges that Elahi and Singleton were the only two who carried knives during the attack on Chew, who was walking home Oct. 29 from his job at 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza on Huntington Street. He sustained six stab wounds and two cuts to the face, McMahon said.
The judge said the warrant details statements by witnesses and co-defendants who gave similar statements that Elahi and Singleton were the most culpable in the attack, which was allegedly started by Elahi.
"There's a lot of statements and they all say the same thing: He's the main player," McMahon said, speaking to Elahi and his attorney.
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 comment of "that's crazy" from a woman in the room.
Each defendant spoke with police to establish a timeline of the attack, and surveillance cameras show the group of six walking downtown both before and after the attack, McMahon said. Rabell told police the final words he heard Chew utter, he said.
"'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.