BOSTON (AP) A Massachusetts man has been ordered held on $100,000 bail after a prosecutor told a judge he lied about the 2008 killing of a Northeastern University student from Connecticut.
Michael Balba, of Billerica, pleaded not guilty Monday to four counts of perjury to a grand jury investigating the fatal shooting of Rebecca Payne, of New Milford, Conn.
30-year-old Cornell Smith has been charged with first-degree murder in Payne's slaying. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said Payne was ``an innocent victim'' and Smith was after someone else in her apartment building. Smith is serving an unrelated 12-year drug sentence.
In court Monday, a prosecutor said Balba was a crack user who bought drugs from Smith and drove him and another man to a location near Payne's apartment the night she was killed.
Rebecca's mother, Virginia, says even though police have termed her daughter's murder a case of mistaken identity, she could never forgive the killer. She calls the arrests a relief because she always had a problem with no one being held accountable.
Nicholas Payne, Rebecca's father, says the 22-year old was studying to be an athletic trainer when she was gunned down in her Boston apartment nearly four years ago.