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Second defendant held in New Bedford killing

September 01, 2015

The encounter was recorded by the city's gunshot detection system.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - A second defendant was ordered held without bail Tuesday in the killing of a New Bedford man.

Prosecutors said 22-year-old Michael Sousa admitted to witnesses that he shot someone in the face, and he showed off a gun to prove it.

"State police have since matched that shell casing to that firearm, linking that firearm, that the defendant brandished within an hour after the murder, to the murder itself," prosecutor Daniel Hourihan said at Sousa's arraignment in New Bedford District Court.

Sousa, who was charged with murder and other counts, is accused of firing the lone shot Aug. 2 that killed 24-year-old Jeffrey Sylvia Jr.

The state revealed Tuesday that Sylvia had attended the final day of the annual Portuguese Feast and was driving with Sousa -- and his co-defendant, 17-year-old Darian Cardoza -- when soon after, he was shot and killed.

The men allegedly stole $3,000 in cash in the process. The commonwealth said most of the encounter was recorded by the city's gunshot detection system.

"This defendant then goes back, and walks back over to the vehicle again, the ShotSpotter goes off, parties are seen running from the scene," Hourihan said.

But Sousa's lawyer, Dana Sargent, said his client maintains his innocence and complained to Judge Jeanmarie Carroll that he hasn't seen all of the evidence.

"I've gotten very little information from the DA's office.  The beginning of the investigation, we probably learned more from the news media," Sargent said.

And he also had a sharp retort to prosecutors' claim that the case is strong.

"Do they ever not say that?  I disagree," Sargent said.

The victim's mother said in a text message to NBC 10 News, "I'm happy justice is being served, but it does not bring back my son. This family has also been sentenced to a lifetime of heartache and pain."

NBC 10 News