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By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
LYNN — Two people were held without bail on murder charges stemming from the beating death of a 44-year-old Lynn man on Saturday.
Jasmin Garcia, 25, and James Belmer, 22, both of Lynn, are accused of beating and kicking Isaac Suggs to death outside his Newhall Street home on Saturday. Suggs died two days later from his injuries.
Each pleaded not guilty to charges of murder from behind a chalk board used to hide their faces from the busy courtroom in Lynn District Court. Garcia faced additional charges for the assault and battery of Melissa Snow, a friend of Suggs and witness to the altercation.
On Saturday, July 15, at about noon, police responded to a fight in front of 110 Newhall St., said Essex County Assistant District Attorney Katelyn Giliberti. Suggs, Belmer, Garcia, and Snow were at the scene when police arrived, and contended that Suggs was a diabetic and fell down.
Suggs was transported to Salem Hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, but during the ambulance ride, took a turn for the worse, according to the police report. He was med-flighted to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died two days later.
Through their investigation, Lynn police learned there had been a dispute among the defendants and the victim over money. Snow told police Garcia was kicking Suggs, while Belmer was hitting him in the head. Officers also reviewed video surveillance that captured the entire 4½-minute beating, said Giliberti.
The police report describes the video to show Suggs approach Belmer and Garcia. Officers were told he approached them because he suspected they broke into his home earlier in the week. A fight ensued, and Snow attempted to break it up without success. Words were exchanged between Garcia and Snow, and Garcia punched Snow, while Belmer continued to beat Suggs. A third party eventually intervened and broke up the fight using a baseball bat, according to the report.
Following Suggs’ death on Monday, warrants were issued for Garcia and Belmer. The pair turned themselves in to Lynn police Tuesday.
Judge James Fitzpatrick ordered both to be held without bail following their arraignment Wednesday afternoon, despite requests from attorneys Jeff Miller, representing Belmer, and Aviva Jeruchim, representing Garcia, to release them on $5,000 bail each.
Miller argued that the surveillance videos showed that Suggs was the aggressor in the fight. Jeruchim told Fitzpatrick her client was the mother of two children, who she does not have custody of, with “virtually no record.”
“Once she and Mr. Belmer learned police were looking for them, they reported to the Lynn Police Department,” she said.
Garcia and Belmer will return to court for a probable cause hearing on Aug. 14.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.