- Written by Ryan Grannan-Doll and Rich Hosford
A Sudbury man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder against Stephen Rakes, 59, of Quincy, who had been scheduled to testify against alleged gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, according to Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan.
William Camuti, 69, of Sudbury, was arrested on Friday in Boston, Ryan announced during a press conference. He faces charges of attempted murder, lying to police and unlawful disposition of a body, Ryan said.
"We allege this defendant intentionally put posing in the victim's iced coffee and then disposed of the body," Ryan said in a statement. "This arrest is the result of a collaborative investigation by Massachusetts State Police, Lincoln Police, Sudbury Police, Waltham Police and Sudbury Fire."
Camuti pleaded not guilty during his arraignment at Concord District Court. He was held without bail pending an Aug. 6 dangerousness hearing, according to the Boston Herald.
Ryan said Camuti acted alone.
According to Ryan, Camuti allegedly arranged a July 16 meeting with Rakes at a McDonald’s in Waltham saying he wanted to discuss a real estate deal in which both could make a lot of money. Camuti purchased two iced coffees for the men and allegedly laced one with two teaspoons of potassium cyanide. Camuti then drove Rakes around for a period of time and later dumped his body in Lincoln, Ryan said. Rakes body was discovered on July 17, with no obvious signs of trauma.
Rakes' car was later located at the McDonald’s on Main Street in Waltham.
Ryan said the attempted murder charge was filed because the medical examiner had not yet determined a cause of death.
Rakes had been scheduled to testify against Bulger at his murder trial, but he was removed from the prosecution witness list before he could, according to the Boston Globe.
RAKES' RELATIONSHIP WITH CAMUTI
Camuti and Rakes were business associates who had known each other for many years and were involved in various business deals, according to the DA's office. While the investigation is ongoing, it is believed that the defendant owed Rakes money and the victim was expected to be repaid.
According to Ryan, the investigation revealed Camuti solicited Rakes to invest in various real estate deals. Camuti and Rakes spoke by phone on July 16, Ryan said, during which Camuti requested the McDonald's meeting to discuss a potential investment property in Wilmington. The deal Camuti was offering to Rakes as an investment did not actually exist.
Ryan said evidence shows that after the poisoning Camuti allegedly drove Rakes around Waltham, Woburn, Burlington and Lincoln for several hours in his vehicle. It is further alleged he dumped Rakes' body in the wooded area in Lincoln where it was found the next day.
Check out the video of Ryan's press conference.