Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Development in Daniel Talbot Case: Lodie Changes Plea

Derek Lodie (
It was announced today that Derek Lodie, the teenager charged as an accessory to murder in the slaying of Revere Police Officer Daniel Talbot almost two years ago, has changed his plea to guilty of accessory to manslaughter before the fact and received 8-12 years in prison. The charges have stemmed from a September 29, 2007 incident in which Lodie allegedly was walking behind Revere High at 1:30 am when he got into a verbal altercation with Daniel Talbot. Talbot apparently was taunting Lodie about being a member of the Bloods street gang and allegedly led the suspect to believe that he and his fellow officers were members of a rival gang (Lodie's attorney suggested this, and the D.A.'s office has stated to me that "The evidence does not suggest that Lodie knew Officer Talbot and his compatriots were police officers, but nor does it suggest that anyone led Lodie to believe they were members of a rival gang.").

The prosecution says that Lodie then called up Robert Iacoviello, a suspected Blood member, who then ambushed Talbot while Talbot and Lodie argued. Two other individuals have been charged - Gia Nagy and James Heang - as accessories after the fact for storing and helping to get rid of the murder weapon (which has not been found - see comment below, the alleged murder weapon has been recovered).

The story of what happened still does not make perfect sense, and the prosecution's refusal to make public tapes of the incident from Revere High's surveillance cameras (on public property, paid for with public funds) only further clouds the whole thing. One officer, Sergeant Evan Franklin, who was with Talbot at the time (five people have been confirmed as being there - Talbot, Talbot's fiancee, Franklin and two other Revere Police officers) has been fired for directing a responding unit to not respond to the scene but rather take an inebriated Franklin home. Couple that with the fact that four police officers are behind a public high school at 1:30 am drinking and a 20 year old with no formal firearms training is able to shoot one of the officers in the head while escaping from returning fire unscathed, and we have a very tragic and confusing situation.

In all, Lodie is getting off pretty easy, considering that in Massachusetts if you are an accessory before the fact in a felony you are punished in the manner of the principal (i.e. he who committed the felony.) So, in essence, Lodie got 8-12 years for killing a cop, which is a pretty lenient plea deal given the alleged crime.

It's hard to say what role Lodie's plea change will play in Iacoviello's upcoming January trial. The media is not saying whether Lodie will testify for the prosecution, though I cannot think of another reason to give Lodie 8-12 years for this. The DA's office, however, states that Lodie did not sign a cooperation agreement. Hopefully during trial the videotapes of the event (there is some fear that they have been damaged or destroyed) are made public so that we know what truly happened that fateful morning behind Revere High.


  1. Thanks for covering the plea. I just have a few points of clarification:

    The alleged murder weapon has been recovered.

    Evidence in a pending prosecution, whether it's a suspect's taped interview or the surveillance tapes from cameras near the scene, is almost invariably withheld from public view for a variety of reasons, not the least of them the potential tainting of the defendants' jury pool. The defendants' right to a fair trial, the court held, outweighs the Lynn Item's commercial interest in the tapes, and the tapes will be made public if introduced at trial. The allegation that the tapes have been damaged or destroyed is completely unfounded.

    Sadly, gunmen with "no formal firearms training" kill people all the time, just as those with training frequently miss their targets.

    Lodie was charged as he was because he did not fire on the group and the evidence did not suggest a joint venture with the shooter. Lodie's actions in summoning an armed assailant to the scene were wanton and reckless, but they did not suggest a specific intent to kill.

    Lodie's plea marks a major step forward in the prosecution of the remaining defendants, but there is no extant agreement between the Commonwealth and Lodie for his testimony at that trial. Prosecutors accepted his plea because it holds him accountable for his role in Officer Talbot's death, potentially takes him off the streets for more than a decade, and allows us to concentrate our efforts on the shooter.

    Thanks again for drawing some attention to this case. It's a constant source of frustration for us that homicides get so much coverage whenthey occur, but so little when the offenders are convicted.

  2. Thanks for weighing in, Jake, and thank you for the correction re: the murder weapon (the post has been updated).

    A lot of people are asking a lot of questions as to what truly happened that night behind Revere High. The accounts are murky, but hopefully a fuller picture is painted during the Iacoviello trial.

    I share the Suffolk County D.A. Office's frustration with lack of media coverage for the end-result of murder trials, but such is the media's mantra: "If it bleeds, it leads."

    Fear not, as I will definitely be covering future developments in this case. Thanks again for commenting.

  3. Just yesterday, I was almost chosen as a juror for this trial at Suffolk Superior Court in downtown Boston. I'll be following your blog for updates. Thanks for the information.

  4. Anytime. If there was anything significant/unusual about the jury selection or anything else you noticed at the proceedings, shoot me an email at All emails are treated confidentially.

    Be sure to check back for updates.

  5. Look at the picture of Lodie, standing right behind him is Office Billy Soto who was at the scene at the time of the shooting. How/Why would they let him get that close to someone who "allegedly" shot his childhood friend right between the eyes, while he was standing right there.