Powderly Gets Results
  • Armed Assault to Murder
  • Result: Dismissed
  • Breaking & Entering
  • Result: Not Guilty
  • Unarmed Robbery
  • Result: Dismissed
  • OUI 2nd Offense
  • Result: Not Guilty
Powderly Probes Crime Lab
James Powderly on WPRI Channel 12
James Powderly on Digging Deeper
James Powderly on Channel 12


Pair arrested after Father Diaferio Village murder trying to avoid cameras

Two men arrested in connection to the murder Thursday don’t want to show their faces in court.

Lawyers for Charles Douglas Mendez and Tacoma Massie asked District Court Chief Judge Gilbert Nadeau to allow Mendez and Massie to remain in their cells rather than go before the camera set up in District Court for their arraignment Friday.

“There is an identification issue,” lawyer James Powderly argued. “There were two civilian witnesses on the scene. Descriptions were not given. “Bringing out my client now would compromise that identification.”

Lawyer Daniel Igo said he would make the same argument for his client. Judge Nadeau said he would rule on the motion when court reconvenes at 2 p.m. Neither defendant was brought into court in the morning session.

Mendez, 28, of Barnaby Street, and Massie, 29, of Hope Street, were arrested on Kellogg Street shortly after police discovered the body of Edward Platts, 31 of Middletown, R.I., who had been shot and killed while sitting in his car outside Building 11 of the Father Diaferio Village housing complex, 220 Johnson St., Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Mendez and Massie were charged with illegally carrying a firearm. Those charges were not changed during the morning session. Both defendants qualify for a court appointed lawyer. Because it is possible that more serious charges could be filed, Nadeau asked Clerk Magistrate Karen Eng to appoint lawyers who have the certifications necessary to try cases in Superior Court as an appointed lawyer.

Robert Kidd, a senior prosecutor in District Attorney Sam Sutter’s office, appeared on behalf of the prosecution.

The arraignment is scheduled to resume at 2 p.m. today.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at koconnor@heraldnews.com.