A family member who was previously arrested for misleading investigators in a grisly quadruple homicide investigation now stands charged with four counts of murder.
Matthew Locke, 32, of 20 Eddy St., Ware, Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday and was ordered held without bail. He is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 18.
The bodies of 38-year-old Sara Bermudez and her children, 8-year-old Madison, 6-year-old James and 2-year-old Michael, were found in their West Brookfield home on March 1 after police responded to their Old Warren Road address for a well-being check.
Prosecutors said there was a fire at the scene that appeared to have extinguished itself. Responding officers said they observed that all four victims had suffered stab wounds.
Sara Bermudez's husband, Moses Bermudez, was reportedly out of the state at the time of murders. He was arrested in mid-March for a disturbance at a pizza shop. Prosecutors said Wednesday that they are not looking at him in connection with the murders.
Moses Bermudez said Wednesday he wants "someone to be held accountable" and to know why the murders happened. Prosecutors haven't cited a motive.
Locke was accused of lying to police during the investigation earlier this year after he allegedly told authorities that Moses Bermudez, his cousin, suggested that members of the gang MS-13 were behind the murders. Locke also misrepresented his relationship with Sara Bermudez and the last time he was inside the Bermudez household, according to court documents. He has been in police custody since his arrest in March.
At a press conference Wednesday, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said the investigation is still ongoing and asked for members of the public to call state police.
"This has been a very difficult case for everyone involved," Early said. "You have young children involved."
DNA and other evidence led to the murder charges, he said.
"I think it is a big relief that finally we've brought some closure to the case," added West Brookfield Police Chief Thomas O'Donnell. "It's still not closed, there's still work to do, but I think it definitely is a relief that we were able to make this arrest today."
Locke's attorney was killed last month when a crowbar crashed through his car windshield. It wasn't immediately clear if he has a new lawyer.