By GAYLA CAWLEY
LYNN — Tomas Barillas, 20, of Lynn, was held without bail following a brief Lynn District Court appearance Wednesday, where he was arraigned on a murder charge in connection with last weekend’s stabbing death on Chase Street.
Barillas pleaded not guilty in the death of Jason Arias-Amador, 20, of Boston, who was killed on March 23 near 14 Chase St. He is also charged with unlawful possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
His court-appointed defense attorney, Denise Regan had no comment on the charges.
Family members of the victim were present for the arraignment, but also declined comment.
Barillas is scheduled to return to court on May 10 for a probable cause hearing.
Police responded to the area of Baker and Franklin Street shortly after midnight Friday on a report of a man with a possible stab wound. The officers saw a man sitting on the ground leaning up against a taxi, later identified as Arias-Amador. His body was limp and he was not moving, according to a police report filed at Lynn District Court.
Arias-Amador couldn’t communicate and his clothes were saturated with blood. Police began to administer aid and found a stab wound on the left side of his neck underneath his jaw. Pressure was applied, but it became apparent that he had already lost a significant amount of blood, according to court documents.
Other emergency personnel responded, administered CPR and Arias-Amador was taken to Salem Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to court documents.
In the area where Arias-Amador had collapsed, police found a red folding knife and a flip-style cell phone, court documents show.
Police followed a trail of blood from Baker to Franklin Street, which led all the way back to a larger pool of blood in the front lot of 14 Chase St., where authorities think the incident originated. The trail of blood stretched the distance of approximately 150 to 200 yards. There was also blood on a vehicle parked in the area of 26 Chase St., where police believe Arias-Amador leaned against for assistance while he was walking, according to court documents.
The taxi driver who reported the incident told police that he saw Arias-Amador stumbling over toward his vehicle, before he leaned over and collapsed. He then got out of his taxi, saw the profuse bleeding and called 911, according to court documents.
Court documents show that police learned through a conversation with Arias-Amador’s sister, that the victim had sent his girlfriend a Snapchat message that he was “meeting my boy, from ESMG, Names sixteen.”
Through assistance from the Lynn Police Gang Unit, Barillas emerged as a person of interest because he is known on the streets as “Sixteen” and is associated with the ESMG, which is known to stand for east side money gang, according to court documents.
Police said Barillas had three outstanding warrants for his arrest from Chelsea District Court. When detectives went to arrest him on the warrants at his Baker Street home, he was discovered hiding in the basement under a plastic tarp, according to court documents.
After his arrest, police searched Barillas’ phone, which allegedly showed he was communicating with Arias-Amador, and planned to meet him. The phone also contained a self-made video, in which he bragged of “catching a body” from Mission Hill, and concluding with him opening the bathroom window covering and showing the lot where the murder allegedly occurred. Police said the term “catching a body” means to kill someone, according to court documents.
Officers obtained a search warrant for Barillas’ Baker Street home on March 24, and found clothes he was believed to be wearing the night before, which all had what was believed to be blood on them. A plastic bag containing handgun ammunition was also recovered, according to court documents.
Gayla Cawley can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.