Teen charged in slaying of Dorchester woman

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) - A teenager has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the shooting of a young woman who police and investigators say was an innocent bystander.

Police Commissioner William Evans announced Monday that charges against 18-year-old Keith Williams had been upgraded to murder. Williams had initially been held on a gun charge in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Dawnn Jaffier. She died Saturday morning after shots were fired near a parade.

A second woman was grazed by a bullet.

Evans said the investigation remained ongoing and active, and that they are looking into whether this act of violence was gang-related, with Jaffier getting caught in the crossfire.

Police chased down Williams, when he fled the scene with two others. Officers also recovered a gun Williams allegedly disposed of in the front yard of a home, covering it with leaves and cobblestone.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley says many officers were working the parade, and that it just goes to show that some individuals are so brazen, they're willing to commit crimes right out in the open no matter what the consequences.
"Some might say she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But she was not. She had every right to be on Blue Hill Ave. on a beautiful Saturday morning," he said. "She had every right just as every child in the city has the right to watch a parade, without putting themselves and their lives at risk. It's an outrage someone would fire their handgun repeatedly down that street."

Jaffier worked at a city elementary school and the West End Boys & Girls Club. Friends and co-workers described her as dedicated to the city's youth.

Playworks, the program she worked with at Hennigan Elementary School, released a statement Monday about Jaffier's death.

"Being with Coach Dawnn at the Hennigan was like being with a Rock Star! She was so loved by the students, staff and families. Boston's students, schools and neighborhoods lost an amazing youth worker and we will work tirelessly to honor her legacy."

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh called her "an incredibly special person," and said the shooting was an outrage.

Williams is due back in court on October 14.