Ryan Bois trial: 'We are going to see things ... that may haunt us for years'

Jack Encarnacao

The horrific rape and killing of Joanna Mullin was described in opening arguments in the trial of Ryan Bois who is accused of murdering Mullin, his 6-year-old cousin. 

Prosecutor Robert Nelson displayed photographs of several locations relevant to the case and a graphic image of Mullin's body, which the judge asked be taken off the screen after a few moments.

"The defendant was, for lack of a better word, sane prior to going into that house that night,” said Nelson.

In describing Mullin’s alleged rape and murder Nelson showed the jury a photograph of the bed where the crimes allegedly took place. Nelson stated that Bois “then took the time to make the bed back up … you’ll hear from the grandmother that she did not make the bed.”

Nelson said that Bois, 22, then drove to Dorchester with Mullin's body in the back seat and asked a man he met there, "if you had to get rid of a body how would you do it?"

Nelson then described the police chase that resulted in Weymouth police officer Edward Hancock and his canine Hax catching Bois. Nelson said Bois began yelling just shoot me and "you don't know what I did," when Hancock and Hax caught him.

Nelson recounted how police on the scene discovered Mullin's body in the back seat, attempted to revive her and rushed her to Quincy Medical Center where she was declared dead.

Nelson said Bois' palm prints were found outside of a window just above his grandmother's garage where he allegedly entered the house.

Nelson said that swabs of Mullin's body showed that she had been raped. The DNA test results excluded everyone but Bois or his father as the assailant..

Nelson also said that the medical examiner will testify that Mullin was bitten on the arm, had a loose tooth knocked into her throat and was strangled to death with the necklace and pendant she had around her neck.

Beverly Cannone, Bois' lawyer, choked up herself as she told the jury that they are going to be asked to put aside their emotions and decide the case on the facts presented.

"My God that's going to be hard to do," said Cannone. "We are going to see and hear things in this courtroom that none of us even want to think about.  We are going to see things in this courtroom that may haunt us for years."

Cannone said that the Ryan Bois that committed this crime "is not the Ryan Bois that sits here today."

Bois at the time of the killing was "tortured and overcome by the demons of mental illness," said Cannone. "That's the only possible explanation for what happened to that precious little girl.

The jury took a break shortly before 1 p.m. for lunch.  Earlier today, jurors toured crime scenes in Quincy and Weymouth.

Judge Janet Sanders, lawyers for the prosecution and defense, and 16 jurors, including four alternates, boarded buses at about 10:20 a.m. today to tour the spot near East Howard Street in Quincy where police captured Bois after a car chase. The girl’s body was found in the backseat of the SUV Bois had allegedly stolen from his grandmother’s house.

Jurors also visited the Weymouth house which Bois allegedly broke into while his grandmother, the little girl and her 4-year-old brother were sleeping.

The jury of 10 women and 6 men heard the charges against Bois read aloud in the courtroom.

The Patriot Ledger