Brockton Man Charged with Stealing Dead Woman’s Phone
BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2014—The man who allegedly walked away with a dead woman’s phone after she was struck and killed by an MBTA train was arraigned today on a larceny charge, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
JOSUE GONZALEZ (D.O.B. 9/8/88) of Brockton was arraigned on one count of larceny over $250. Noting that he turned himself in and walked into court for arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Erica Brody recommended that he be released on his own recognizance with orders to abide by a curfew, check in weekly with a probation officer, and stray out of downtown Boston. Boston Municipal Court Judge Lisa Grant released him without monetary bail but declined to impose any conditions of release.
The charge arises out of the death of an adult female after she was struck by a Red Line train at Downtown Crossing at about 9:50 on Thursday night. There is no evidence of foul play in that incident and her death is being investigated as a non-homicide.
Shortly before the woman was struck, prosecutors said, she dropped her cellular phone onto the southbound platform. Gonzalez, who was present before, while, and after she was hit, left his seat on a bench along the platform and walked toward the phone. As others in the station called for help or made way for first responders, Gonzalez allegedly placed his foot on the phone and blocked it from view. After scanning the area, he allegedly picked up the phone, placed it in his pocket, and left the station.
Public safety cameras inside the station captured the entire incident, including Gonzalez’ actions. On Friday, MBTA Transit Police released images from those cameras depicting Gonzalez and seeking his identity. On Friday night, he returned the phone through an attorney and turned himself in.
A person may be charged with larceny even when the property’s rightful owner is deceased, according to the Massachusetts General Laws, which note that “If such property which was of a person deceased is stolen, it may be a larceny from any one or more heirs, devisees, reversioners, remaindermen or others[.]”
Gonzalez is represented by attorney Paul Derby. He will return to court on Jan. 28.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.