BOSTON (CBS) — A South Boston man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the August 2011 fatal beating of a Dorchester grandmother.
On Tuesday, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Adam Cassino, 27, of South Boston, of first-degree murder for killing 65-year-old Barbara Tagen in her home, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a prepared statement.
Jurors convicted Cassino of murder under both theories prosecutors presented during the trial: deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Cassino faces a mandatory life term without the possibility of parole at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Aug. 5.
“Police and prosecutors with decades of experience were shocked at the level of brutality in this case,” Conley said. “It was a crime of almost unspeakable violence. This was the only appropriate verdict, and I hope it gives Ms. Tagen’s family and loved ones some satisfaction.”
During seven days of testimony, Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum introduced evidence proving Cassino beat Tagen to death with a baseball bat inside her Andrew Square apartment sometime between Tagen’s last contact with family members on Aug. 23, 2011, and Cassino’s involuntary commitment to a drug treatment facility on Aug. 24, 2011.
On Aug. 22, 2011, Cassino was accused of stealing prescription pills from another resident at Tagen’s apartment building. The alleged theft sparked a series of confrontations that led Cassino to be thrown out of his home and stay at a friend’s apartment for two nights. Cassino was unaccounted for at the time of Tagen’s killing. Witnesses described his demeanor at the time as erratic and agitated.
Boston Police took Cassino into custody on Aug. 24 after his mother petitioned the court to have him civilly committed, and he was taken to the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center at Bridgewater State Hospital. Three days later, Tagen’s body was found with massive blunt trauma injuries to her head. She had been dead for several days.
Boston Police homicide detectives interviewed Cassino, who claimed Tagen had offered to sell him prescription pills. Blood found on Cassino’s sneakers matched Tagen’s DNA.