The Boston bouncer charged with fatally stabbing a Marine veteran outside of a North End bar last month appeared in court again Thursday, this time with the victim's family and friends present.
Prosecutors allege Alvaro Omar Larrama, of East Boston, stabbed 23-year-old Daniel Martinez to death on March 19 following an argument outside the Sons of Boston bar on Union Street.
Martinez, who was from the Chicago area, was visiting some of his friends in Boston when he was killed. About a dozen of his family, friends and Marine Corps brothers were in Boston on Thursday to attend Larrama's court hearing.
It was an emotional day for the large group, including Martinez's mother who spent the entire Boston Municipal Court hearing staring at the man who allegedly killed her son.
"It was a moment I've waited for for a long time. I needed to see the person that took my son's life, a 23-year-old Marine who had the whole world in front of him, his whole life ahead of him," Apollonia Martinez said. "I needed him to feel the sorrow and heartbreak that I feel, that my family feels. I needed him to feel the weight of my tears that I have cried. My heart is broken."
"He needed to see it, and I know he felt it," she added after the hearing. "I couldn't take my eyes off of him because I needed him to see the person that he destroyed, the person that he killed along with my son, he killed a part of my heart when he did that so that's why I never took my eyes off of him."
Martinez's mom was joined by other family members, as well as their attorney, after the hearing Thursday. The family thanked supporters, as well as Martinez's Marine platoon, and authorities in Boston, including Boston police and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.
Attorney Tom Flaws said the family still has a lot of questions in Martinez's death, announcing that they will be filing a wrongful death suit against the Sons of Boston in Suffolk Superior Court by the end of this week.
"We've gotten some answers through the licensing board, but the family will not rest until all other questions are answered and that's why we're filing the lawsuit this week," the attorney said, noting the family hasn't yet seen any documents or video in connection to the deadly stabbing.
"We want to see those down the road to see everything that happened that day," he added.
Flaws initially announced the lawsuit on March 31, saying it would allow the family to investigate whether or not the pub could have prevented the incident.
In the aftermath of the stabbing, the Boston establishment had its entertainment and liquor licenses suspended. During a liquor license review hearing earlier this month, officials discovered that the bar did not run a background check on the former bouncer and did not know he had a knife on him the night of the stabbing.
Flaws said the family applauds the licensing board's decision but feels it is important to file the lawsuit now as they continue to seek justice for Martinez.
Martinez's mom also announced the family is starting a foundation for Martinez.
"We're trying to focus more on my son's legacy, we're starting a foundation for my son, it's called the Daniel Martinez Memorial Foundation," she shared. "It's in the works. It's a lot of work but it's a labor of love and that's what we're trying to focus on."
"We're doing the best we can, we're trying to stay strong," she shared of how the family is doing. "I've had a lot of outreach from other mothers that have lost their children to violence and they have been very supportive, they've been there for me, sharing their stories with me, their advice on how to go forward without a member of their family, a piece of your heart."
According to court documents, Martinez died of a single stab wound to his chest.
Surveillance video footage recovered from exterior cameras on Union Street corroborated witness accounts that Martinez and a friend had been attempting to gain entrance to Sons of Boston, where Larrama was working as a bouncer on the night of March 19, court documents said.
After Martinez and his friend were denied entry, there was an exchange of words between Martinez, his friend, and Larrama, according to court documents. Surveillance footage showed that as Martinez and his friend began to walk away, Larrama began to follow them down Union Street. He was then seen running after Martinez with an unknown object in his right hand. Martinez then turned and faced Larrama, extending his left hand to block or fend off an attack. He then struck Larrama in the head with an aluminum beer bottle.
An altercation reportedly ensued, during which Larrama could be seen striking Martinez in the chest area two times, the second of which caused Martinez to grasp his chest with his left hand.
Several people then intervened and as Larrama was separated from the altercation he could be seen manipulating an unknown object with both of his hands in front of his body before appearing to place it in his right shorts pocket. Larrama was then led back into Sons of Boston by other staff, where he proceeded into the bar's basement, where he was captured on surveillance camera washing his hands and discarding the knit hat and sweatshirt he had been wearing during the incident. He is then seen turning his T-shirt inside-out before fleeing out the rear exit of the bar.
Larrama, 38, who turned himself into police two days after the deadly stabbing, continues to be held without bail on a murder charge. He's due back in court in June for a probable cause hearing.