Suspect accused of brutally murdering two Boston doctors pleads not guilty from hospital bed
Lying in a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds, his eyes opening periodically, Bampumim Teixeira was arraigned on two counts of murder at Tufts Medical Center in Boston Monday afternoon.
A judge standing beside Teixeira — a 30-year-old from Chelsea, Mass. — entered two not guilty pleas for the murders of Richard Field, 49 and Lisa Bolanos, 38 — Boston doctors who were engaged to be married.
During the arraignment, NBC News reported, Teixeira nodded “only slightly in response to questions.”
He was ordered to be held without bail, authorities said. If convicted, the maximum sentence Teixera would face is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Monday morning, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Jake Wark told the Washington Post Teixeira would be charged with two counts of murder, but noted that investigators are still probing whether there was a relationship between the accused killer and his victims, both of whom were anesthesiologists.
When Boston police entered an 11th-floor penthouse apartment Friday night, they found a gruesome scene: the bodies of a man and a woman bound at the hands, their throats slit, and blood on the walls of the luxury condo. The killer had left cut-up photos of the couple, and a message of retribution.
The discovery of their bodies and “traumatic injuries” followed a call to police about an armed person in the building, an apartment complex on Dorchester Avenue in South Boston, police said. When officers arrived at about 8:40 p.m. Friday, a man immediately started shooting at them, prompting police to return fire.
Officers struck the man, and after a violent struggle, placed him in custody and transported him to a hospital with nonlife threatening injuries, according to a police statement. No police officers were hit by gunfire but several were treated at hospitals for nonlife threatening injuries.
“You have a guy here who just killed two people,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters.“He had nothing to lose.”
Evans identified the armed man as Bampumim Teixeira.
Teixeira’s ex-girlfriend told the Boston Globe that he was a former security guard who had just finished a nine-month sentence for robbing two banks. Last June, Teixeira demanded money at a Boston bank by passing a note. Two years later, he committed the same crime, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. It was unclear whether he had obtained an attorney.
Evans told reporters that authorities think the victims and their killer knew each other.
“That’s what we’re going on, that they were targeted,” Evans told Boston’s CBS affiliate.
“[For] someone to come here, go up to the 11th floor, to the penthouse,” Evans told WCVB, “we got to believe that somehow there was some type of knowledge of each other.”
A key question in the ongoing investigation is how the killer gained access to the couple’s apartment, located in a well-secured, upscale building.
“You can’t get up there without a key,” building resident Jack Fu told WCVB. “The elevators wouldn’t even open the door for you without a key. So there’s no access unless someone lets you in.”
In the moments before his death, Field managed to send one last text message to a friend. He pleaded for help, saying there was an armed man inside, the Boston Globe and WCVB reported.
His body, and his fiancee’s, were found by a SWAT team during a sweep of the building after the shootout between the gunman and police.
Field was a physician at North Shore Pain Management, and Bolanos was a pediatric anesthesiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. Their patients and colleagues mourned their deaths over the weekend, remembering the doctors as outstanding members of the medical community.
“Dr. Bolanos was an outstanding pediatric anesthesiologist and a wonderful colleague in the prime of both her career and life,” John Fernandez, president and chief executive of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, said in a statement.
Field was described by North Shore Pain Management as a “guiding vision” who was “instrumental” in the creation of the practice in 2010. Before his work there, Field was an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist at Beverly Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His biography said he had been an instructor at Harvard Medical School.
“His tragic and sudden passing leaves an inescapable void in all of us,” a statement on the clinic’s website read, calling Field “a tremendous advocate for his patients.”
One of his patients, Debra Harrington, told the Boston Globe she had seen Field regularly for more than 12 years for treatment of back pain. Even after Harrington moved out of town to Marlborough, she continued to drive more than an hour to see him in Beverly, “because I didn’t want to lose him,” she said. “It was worth it.”
“I feel like I lost a friend,” Harrington said Sunday night after hearing the news of his death.
Harrington recalled one time when she was scared before undergoing an epidural. Field stood by her bedside, praying with her.
“I don’t know what religion he is,” she said. “I said, ‘Will you pray with me?’ He said, ‘Of course I will.’ ”