Suffolk Superior Court Judge Linda Giles ordered a halt to a murder trial over concerns regarding two witnesses who were involved in a stabbing yesterday afternoon in downtown Boston. Giles noted that she is “extremely reluctant to [postpone] this trial” due to the possibility that granting a delay could “set a precedent that all you have to do to derail a first-degree murder trial… is attack some of the participants,” but is choosing to go forward with the decision due to the condition of the witnesses. “I am basing it on two potential defense witnesses,” she said, in reference to the severity of their wounds.
Giles is presiding over the first-degree murder trial of two Dorchester men accused in the shooting of another woman. According to prosecutors, a second man was injured in the shooting but survived. However, he was reportedly not among the victims of yesterday’s stabbing.
Both defendants’ attorneys have spoken publicly about the decision, as The Boston Globe reported, but the reactions were mixed. Jack Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said the two victims were on witness lists for both sides but that the attacks did not appear to be “a calculated attempt to derail the trial.” Thus far, the investigation suggests that the attacks were based upon a “long-term animus” which was preexisting and is apparently unrelated to the shooting.