Dracut man arraigned in connection to city homicide ordered held without bail


LOWELL — The second suspect connected to the beating death of a Walker Street man last Thursday morning was arraigned Monday in Lowell District Court and held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing this Friday.

Jeffrey Puryear, 24, of Dracut, faces a single charge of armed assault in a dwelling in connection with the homicide of Saro Mann, 40, of 171 Walker St.

The first suspect, Samundi Cobb, 41, of 215 Cross St., Lowell, was arraigned Friday on the same charge as Puryear. He is also being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for this Friday.

Mann was discovered Thursday, about 2:45 a.m., when his live-in girlfriend returned to the apartment and found him on the living-room floor with his hands duct-taped behind his back, a cloth laundry bag over his head and duct tape wrapped around his neck, according to a police report. Mann had several bloody cuts on his hands, head and back.

A witness told investigators he had been at Mann’s apartment Wednesday night, smoking crack and using heroin with Mann and the two other men. That man told police one of the men had an argument with Mann because he “wanted more crack cocaine for his money,” according to the police report.

The witness went home but later returned to Mann’s apartment because he was worried, he told police. The witness said he watched the men break into Mann’s apartment. They allegedly left with a safe and a PlayStation, then returned a short time later armed with a meat cleaver and duct tape.

The man told police he heard Mann moaning inside the apartment and snuck up to the window, where he saw the men put a cloth bag over Mann’s head, tie his hands behind his back and begin beating him.

After the two men left, the witness said he entered the apartment and watched Mann first struggle to breathe, then stop breathing. The witness said he left, distraught, but there was no mention of him contacting authorities or calling for help during or after the incident.

A spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office declined to comment last week on why Puryear and Cobb are not charged with murder. Prosecutors could upgrade the charges at any time.

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