Webster

Suspected Killer of Man Found Dead at Webster Shopping Center Charged With Murder

The murder suspect, Bernard Cusson, Jr., was arrested on gun and theft charges the same day that Joseph Bottis' body was found in front of the Big Lots in the Webster Commons shopping center

A man has been charged with murder nearly a month after his suspected victim's body was found outside a shopping center in Webster, Massachusetts, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Bernard Cusson, Jr. was already in custody on other charges when he was charged Tuesday in Dudley District Court with killing Jospeh Bottis, 39, according to the Worcester County District Attorney's Office.

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Cusson, 51, was arrested June 17 on gun and theft charges, prosecutors said, the same day that Bottis' body was found in front of the Big Lots in the Webster Commons shopping center on Main Street. It wasn't immediately clear what new evidence had come to light that enabled prosecutors to charge Cusson with murder.

Held without bail after his arrest, Cusson will be in court to face the murder charge on Tuesday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak to the charge.

On Sunday, officials identified the man found dead Friday as Joseph Bottis, 39.

Bottis' body was discovered about 2:45 a.m. An autopsy found that he had a fractured skull, consistent with blunt-force trauma, prosecutors said.

"The victim was known to the area and Webster police do know the victim," Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early said last month as the investigation began.

Webster resident Angel Lopez has said he believes the victim is someone he knows only as Joe who'd previously told him that he was being harassed by two men.

"He looked very nervous, so I tried to talk to him as long as possible to try to get him away from them, but it was really, really suspicious," Lopez said. "We're a small community where people stick together, and for this to happen in a small community, in a little town like this, it gives all of us locals fear for our lives."

Webster has a population of about 18,000 people and is located south of Worcester along the Connecticut border.

Police are investigating a death in Webster, Massachusetts.
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