Two Homicides on Mass/Cass in One Week Define Recent Uptick in Violence

The Mass/Cass area has been hit with two homicides this week, one on Friday near the Southampton Shelter and a second on Tuesday morning in Clifford Park – both hot spots on the corridor that have seen an uptick in violence over the past year in particular.

On Tuesday, a woman who stabbed and killed a 48-year-old Boston man in Clifford Park was arraigned in the Roxbury Division of Boston Municipal Court on murder charges and ordered held without bail by Judge David Weingarten.

Mary Fox, 38, of Boston, is alleged to have fatally stabbed Michael Dezrick, in Clifford Playground, when she returned to confront him after having a dispute with Mr. Dezrick earlier in the evening.

“My office will hold those who commit violence and steal lives accountable for their actions,’’ said DA Rachael Rollins. “Mr. Dezrick’s life ended over an insignificant argument. His family will never see him again, because of an argument. We must start seeing the humanity in each other and learning to de-escalate and walk away. Instead, these two families like so many others before them, are inextricably tied to each other based on a tragedy. None of their lives will ever be the same.’’

Fox also had her bail revoked on three open cases: two in Boston Municipal Court (receiving a stolen motor vehicle and carrying a dangerous weapon, a knife); and one case in Dedham of carrying a dangerous weapon.

Last Friday morning, July 31, a Chelsea man was charged with the murder of a Boston man outside the Southampton Shelter in the Mass/Cass area.

At about 7:27 a.m., officers assigned to District C-6 (South Boston) responded to a radio call for a person stabbed in the area of 112 Southampton St. On arrival, officers located an adult male victim suffering from an apparent stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. The victim has since been identified as Damien R. Hughes, 27, of Boston.

Following the incident, an investigation culminated in the identification of the suspect as Cesar Valentin, 34, of Chelsea, who was placed under arrest in the area of 39 Boylston St. in Boston at about 11:51 a.m. on Friday, July 31. Valentin is expected to be arraigned in Roxbury District Court on the charge of Murder.

Worcester Square resident Desi Murphy said he hopes that the recent violence might wake people up to what’s going on in the neighborhood, which has grown quite violent over the past few months.

“From engaging with the people I see around BMC, I regularly hear horrible stories about group attacks and robberies daily,” he said. “I hope that the two murders are a wake-up call that more has to be done and that we need to continue asking if placing all services into Newmarket makes homeless people safer. I fear is that unless something is caught on camera like the 2019 Correction Officer incident, the homeless people residing within Newmarket and Mass/Cass will remain out of sight and out of mind for Boston residents.”

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