BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A first-degree murder indictment has been handed down in a nearly 40 year-old cold case with connections to Southie gang kingpin James "Whitey" Bulger.
61 year-old Michael Lewis was arrested by Boston Police on Friday and charged with killing 23 year-old Brian Watson during a South Boston drug dealing dispute in July 1984. A grand jury indicted Lewis of first-degree homicide.
In a statement, Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden called Lewis' alleged crime "a remarkably cold-blooded whim" and said the case "hearkens back to a very different Boston."
The statement from the D.A.'s office laid out the alleged events and the connection to Whitey Bulger:
"Prosecutors allege that Lewis and another man, both of whom were involved in the South Boston drug trade, were driving on July 16 or 17 in South Boston in search of another drug dealer. Their purpose was to stop that dealer from operating in South Boston. The second man was angry at the dealer because the dealer had told South Boston gang kingpin James “Whitey” Bulger and Bulger associate Kevin Weeks that he, the second man, was dealing angel dust in South Boston. As a result, Bulger demanded $5,000 immediately from the second man, followed by $1,000 a week.
While looking for the dealer, Lewis and the second man encountered Brian Watson. The second man asked Watson to lead them to the dealer. Watson agreed. Watson entered the vehicle and sat in the back seat.
While the three men drove around South Boston, Lewis suddenly turned, shot and killed Watson. The two then drove into New Hampshire and dumped Watson’s body off I-93 South in Manchester."
Just two months later, in September 1984, the body was discovered by a man who'd pulled off the road in Manchester. The remains were eventually identified as Brian Watson through dental records.
The investigation in the decades since has been a joint effort between Massachusetts and New Hampshire authorities.
“We are very pleased that an arrest has been made in this New Hampshire Cold Case," New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said in the statement. "We hope that this significant development brings Brian Watson’s loved ones one step closer to justice and closure.”
Michael Lewis is expected to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday.
Listen to WBZ NewsRadio Live: