Brayan W. Flores, 29, of 197 Vernon St. was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Central District Court on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Mr. Carlson, whose body was discovered July 25 in a fire at his house at 12 Halmstad St.
A not-guilty plea was entered by the court on Mr. Flores’ behalf. Assistant District Attorney Timothy A. Westerman told Judge Richard A. Eustis that he and Mark Bennett, the lawyer appointed to represent Mr. Flores, were in agreement that the suspect be held without bail without prejudice, which would allow for a future bail hearing in the case. Judge Eustis held Mr. Flores without bail without prejudice and continued his case to March 8.
Prosecutors said during an earlier court hearing in the case that Mr. Flores and Mr. Carlson were involved in a dating relationship and accused Mr. Flores of killing the older man, although he had not formally been charged with his murder until Tuesday.
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Mr. Flores was previously charged with assault and battery on Mr. Carlson with a dangerous weapon (wooden dowel) causing serious bodily injury on the night of July 25. He was additionally charged with assault and battery on his brother, Sergio Flores, during an altercation that same night at the Halmstad Street address.
He was ordered held without bail after an Aug. 29 dangerousness hearing at which Mr. Westerman said Mr. Carlson was “beaten and burned” at the hands of Mr. Flores.
Carlson, 53, was found dead on July 25 in his burned out home at 12 Halmstead St. He had significant head and facial injuries and the lower part of his body was burned.
Police alleged that Mr. Flores repeatedly struck Mr. Carlson in the head, neck and arms with a large wooden dowel that was found on Mr. Carlson’s body after the fire was put out. Mr. Flores was captured on surveillance video carrying the makeshift weapon as he left Mr. Carlson’s home just before the fire, according to court records.
Mr. Flores was arrested on shoplifting charges after the fire and admitted to detectives that he had been drinking with Mr. Carlson before the fire, the records show.
Investigators had said that additional charges could be lodged in the case once the results of Mr. Carlson’s autopsy became available. The autopsy showed that Mr. Carlson’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head and neck area and the death was ruled a homicide, according to a statement of facts filed by police in support of the murder charge.
Mr. Flores has remained in custody since the Aug. 29 hearing. He was initially held without bail and his bail was later set at $50,000 cash.
At Mr. Westerman’s request, Judge Eustis dismissed the charges of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury Tuesday after Mr. Flores had been arraigned on the murder charge.
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Gallery: Brayan Flores charged in connection with the death of David Carlson in Worcester
More than seven months after David Carlson’s beaten and burned body was found inside a Worcester home, Brayan Flores is being charged with murder in connection with Carlson’s death.
Worcester police and firefighters responded to a fire at 12 Halmstad St. on July 25. After quickly putting out the fire, officials discovered Carlson’s dead body.
Carlson, 53, had a head injury and was badly burned on the lower part of his body, police said at the time. Prosecutors said that Flores struck Carlson with a “large wooden dowel.”
The wooden dowel was found near Carlson’s body, according to recently filed court documents. Carlson had “extensive” head and face injuries and the lower half of his body was set on fire.
Flores was arraigned on the murder charge in Worcester Central District Court on Tuesday afternoon. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf and he was ordered held without bail.
Initially, Flores, of 197 Vernon St., Apt. 1, was charged with assault and battery with dangerous weapon. Judge Richard Eustis dismissed that charge at the request of the commonwealth during the arraignment.
An autopsy determined that Carlson’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the head and neck area, court documents read.
Surveillance video showed Flores leaving Carlson’s residence just prior to the fire erupting, the court documents read. Flores also admitted to authorities that he was drinking with Carlson prior to the fire.
Investigators believe Flores” intentionally struck David Carlson in the head area with the wooden dowel causing his death,” court documents state.
Police have responded to previous domestic incidents between Flores and Carlson.
After the fire, Flores’ brother, Sergio Flores, 26, also of 197 Vernon St., was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear to a grand jury summons. That “the summons was part of the ongoing investigation,” officials said at the time.