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Opinion: Judge Feeley may have tainted any jury in rink stab case

Wednesday Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley agreed to reduce the bail of a Lynn man charged with murder in connection with a brawl that resulted in the stabbing death of a teen dad at Connery Rink.
While the move to lower Bernardo Urena’s bail to $2,500 may have been a bad decision, given the fact Assistant District Attorney Meg Morrison argued to keep bail at $7,500 telling Feeley the state had a witness who would testify he observed Urena using a slashing motion toward Carmelo Sandoval, what is most troubling here is Feeley’s choice of words during the hearing.
During the bail reduction hearing Feeley said, “I think we know who committed the murder.”
Wow.
Hey judge, Sandoval was stabbed to death 13 days ago and you have already decided who committed the murder. So much for being presumed innocent until proven guilty in Feeley’s courtroom.
Believe me I do not have a problem with Urena looking to have his bail reduced or for defense attorney Raymond Buso making the argument, but Feeley’s statement has caused a ton of trouble as this case moves forward, and truthfully, it is unbelievable that a Superior Court Judge would announce he thinks he knows who the killer is.
During Wednesday’s bail hearing Buso said Yeison Arias, 18, of Lynn, has confessed to the incident and led police to the knife and a bloody shirt he hid in Salem.
With that said, there is a reason why in Massachusetts you can’t plead guilty to first-degree murder, but in fact must be given a trial ? a fair trial. Not sure that Arias can get that fair trial now that Feeley has closed the book on the case.
The Daily Item has sued district attorneys in Essex and Suffolk counties the past couple years requesting information be released to the public, and both times written rulings included concerns that information being released could taint a jury. While we obviously disagreed with the rulings as we sought information in the Giovanni Gonzalez case as well as the shooting death of Revere police officer Daniel Talbot, we knew going in that the tainted jury clause would be thrown at us.
If only we could have had Feeley hear our case.
Henry J. Collins is The Item’s managing editor

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