Details emerge in girl’s slaying — (The Boston Globe)

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The Boston Globe

By Peter Schworm and Javier C. Hernandez, Globe Staff

August 7, 2007

Kin says suspect has troubled past

Ryan Bois, 20, also has ties to white supremacist groups in the region, said a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

Bois’s 16-year-old brother, Benjamin Tofani of Framingham, said yesterday that Bois is a chronic drug addict who had been in and out of rehabilitation clinics for years and was prone to violent rages.

“He’s always been like this,” Tofani said. “He’s been on a bad path for a long time.”

Bois was held without bail yesterday and was sent for psychiatric evaluation after pleading not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges at his arraignment in Quincy District Court. He spat at reporters covering the hearing as he shuffled past in leg irons, handcuffs, and a hospital robe. A law enforcement source said Bois has hepatitis, and a reporter hit by the spit was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Prosecutors said that the body of the young girl, Joanna Mullin of Weymouth, was naked, badly bruised, and showed signs of sexual assault when police discovered it early Sunday morning wrapped in a comforter in the back seat of the stolen car Bois was driving. She had sustained trauma to her face and neck, had blood in her mouth, and her legs were gray and discolored, according to the police report and prosecutors.

New details emerged at yesterday’s arraignment and in police reports. Police and prosecutors said Bois abducted his cousin in the middle of the night from their grandmother’s house in Weymouth, where she and another cousin were having a sleepover. He entered the home by climbing on top of a car and cutting through a window screen, officials said. Investigators said they found bedding in the house that were stained with blood and what appeared to be semen.

The grandmother was unaware her granddaughter was missing until police notified her after they discovered the body, authorities said.

Bois then drove off in his grandmother’s car before being pursued by Weymouth police, who said they observed him speeding and driving erratically. Police stopped him at about 1:30 a.m., but Bois sped away as the officer approached his vehicle.

After a chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour, police said, Bois crashed into a taxi at a light in Quincy, then fled on foot. He was apprehended with the help of a police dog.

According to the police report, Bois screamed at the responding officers to kill him.

“Kill me now,” he screamed. “Just shoot me in the head.”

“I’m a loser,” he later yelled. “You don’t even know. Shoot me in the face.”

Police looked in the back seat of the car and saw two small legs and realized that the body of a young girl was there, according to the report.

The officers attempted CPR but were unable to revive her.

Police also said they discovered a bag of heroin Bois had discarded during his failed escape and an 8-inch knife with blood on it.

Tofani, Bois’s 16-year-old brother, said yesterday that Bois had battled drug addiction throughout his teenage years and was prone to anger and violence. He said family members, particularly their mother, were overcome by guilt and grief over Mullin’s death.

“We never thought he could do this, never,” Tofani said during an interview on the doorstep of his Framingham home. “We thought he loved them. He was always in trouble, he had a lot of problems, but he was a good cousin.”

Tofani said his brother had been on medication for bipolar disorder.

Tofani said his brother fell into the wrong crowd early in life and attended a camp for troubled children when he was a preteen. He often started fights, began committing crimes, and has been a chronic substance abuser, Tofani said. “Rehab has never worked,” Tofani said. “He gets out and starts again.”

Tofani said his mother eventually sent Bois to live with her sister, Heather Mullin, where he spent two years before family members kicked him out. He has recently bounced among friends and relatives, Tofani said.

He was in prison for several months last year for a probation violation and four months ago got out of a drug rehabilitation program, Tofani said.

According to court records, Bois was charged with armed assault in 2006 after he allegedly threatened a Weymouth convenience store clerk and demanded money.

Last year, Bois was charged with possession of marijuana and assaulting a police officer outside a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Weymouth.

During that incident, police said, Bois spat blood on the officer and had to be sedated with pepper spray.

His court-appointed lawyer, Beverly J. Cannone, declined to discuss the case except to say, “I can’t imagine there being anything more tragic than the death of a beautiful little girl.”

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report