After more than a decade on the run, a getaway driver admitted his role on Friday, Sept. 22, in the 2003 shooting that killed Jose Daveiga and Christopher Carvalho.
Carlos Silva, 34, pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact to murder, making him the third person to be convicted of charges stemming from the South End homicides.
Had the case proceeded to trial, First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan would have presented evidence and testimony that Silva was one of several men leaving a Chinatown nightclub at approximately 2:30 a.m. on April 28, 2003, when they encountered a smaller group that included a man whom Silva’s group believed to be a rival. Daveiga and Carvalho were among this smaller group.
Haggan would have sought to prove that the defendants split up in two vehicles — one a Honda driven by Silva and the other a Dodge minivan driven by Daniel Fernandes, 32 — and followed the victims’ car. When the victims’ vehicle stopped at a red light at the intersection of Albany and East Berkeley streets, the evidence would have shown, a gunman in one of the suspect vehicles fired upon them. As the victims’ vehicle fled the gunfire, it crashed into a parked car on East Berkeley Street, where Odair Fernandes, 34, and another man opened fire from the minivan.
DaVeiga was struck three times and died of his injuries at Boston Medical Center. Carvalho, who was struck in the eye and neck, initially survived his injuries but was left paralyzed. He remained confined to a hospital bed and reliant upon a machine to provide him oxygen until his death in 2007 from pneumonia exacerbated by his paralysis.
Haggan would have presented evidence that Silva and Fernandes drove the gunmen from the scene, first to a home in Randolph where they disposed of one of the guns and then to Dorchester, where Silva dropped off the car he was driving and entered the minivan.
Boston Police soon after stopped the minivan and executed a search warrant that led to the recovery of a second gun used in the shooting, as well as ballistic evidence.
Silva and Daniel Fernandes were indicted as accessories after the fact to murder and agreed to testify at trial. However, both men fled the area as a jury was being seated, forcing prosecutors to drop charges against two of the three men charged with murder and believed to be the gunmen.
Odair Fernandes was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges and is serving a life term.
After their failure to testify, Silva and Daniel Fernandes were re-indicted on homicide charges. Fernandes later turned himself in and accepted a term of 10 years in prison. Silva was located in 2015 by the Boston Police Fugitive Unit and US Marshals after he spent nearly a decade on the run and living under false identities. Prosecutors accepted his plea to the original indicted charge of accessory after the fact only after carefully considering his role in the fatal encounter, the likely defenses available to him at trial, and the strengths and weaknesses of the case given the passage of more than 14 years.
“Nearly 15 years after the shooting that claimed their loved ones’ lives, the families of Jose DaVeiga and Christopher Carvalho can finally close this chapter of their lives,” DA Dan Conley said. “Whatever their next chapter in healing brings, the DaVeiga and Carvalho families will always have my office available as a resource as they move forward.”