NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) — A 17-year-old youth charged with fatally shooting a 34-year-old man in Massachusetts last week was selling drugs with the victim and the two had been in a dispute over money, according to authorities.
Angel Nieves was held without bail after pleading not guilty to first-degree murder at his arraignment Monday in the death of Benjamin Martinez Jr., whose body was found in an Adams apartment last Thursday. Nieves was charged as an adult and the proceedings were in open court.
Witnesses described Nieves as Martinez’s stepson, although police are still investigating the exact relationship between the two, Andrew McKeever, a spokesperson for the Berkshire district attorney’s office told The Berkshire Eagle.
Martinez was found dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head on the third floor of the apartment, according to authorities. Nieves was arrested in Springfield on Friday.
The Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force knew the residents of the address were actively selling drugs, according to court documents.
Sometime in the past month, the two had a falling out over money, witnesses told investigators.
An email seeking comment was left with Nieves’ attorney.
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