A Massachusetts man was ordered held without bail during his arraignment Wednesday in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man at a barber shop in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood.
A plea of not guilty was entered on the behalf of 28-year-old Rudy Jean-Baptiste, of Roslindale, during his brief appearance in West Roxbury District Court where he was formally charged with murder.
Officers were called to the La Familia Barber Shop on Hyde Park Avenue at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a stabbing. When they arrived, a man was suffering from a stab wound in the upper torso.
The victim, later identified as Mackenson Henry, was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Jean-Baptiste initially fled after the stabbing but was later apprehended by police.
Witnesses told NBC10 Boston that Henry and Jean-Baptiste had been involved in some sort of a dispute prior to the stabbing.
According to court documents, Jean-Baptiste said he was assaulted by the victim with a chain and a pair of vise grips. Jean-Baptiste allegedly told police he grabbed a knife and chased the victim into the barbershop and stabbed him twice.
Defense attorney Peter Marano said his client was only protecting himself.
"This was a case of self-dense we believe. Mr. Baptiste has no history of violence for 30 years. He has no criminal record, other than a traffic accident where he allegedly left without proper information," said Marano outside the courtroom.
Police said it did not appear that the stabbing was random.
"It doesn’t appear to be a random act. The parties may have known each other. At this point we are looking for any and all witnesses," said Boston Police Superintendent Willam Gross.
Hyde Park pastor Herns Antoine said he knows Henry, who was 41.
"He's a nice guy. Very nice guy. Very quiet, very friendly. Unfortunately, things happen," he said.
Jean-Baptiste is due back in court July 11.