Man charged in connection to Rakes' death
WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Sudbury man pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the death of alleged James “Whitey” Bulger extortion victim Stephen Rakes.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said William Camuti, 69, was arrested in Boston Friday. He is being charged with attempted murder, misleading police and unlawful disposition of human remains after he allegedly poisoned Rakes with potassium cyanide in his iced coffee.
“We alleged that this defendant, William Camuti, intentionally put poison in the victim’s iced coffee, drove around for several hours with Mr. Rakes in his car and then dumped Mr. Rakes’ body in a remote location,” said Ryan.
Rakes’ body was found on July 17 in a wooded area off Mill Street in Lincoln. There was no ID or cell phone with him. The DA said on July 16, Camuti lured Rakes to a Waltham McDonald’s to talk about a real estate deal, where he purchased two iced coffees.
“We alleged that the defendant Camuti laced one of those iced coffees with two teaspoons of potassium cyanide. We allege further that Mr. Rakes drank some of that coffee. Mr. Camuti then drove around for several hours with MR. Rakes in his car. On the evening of July 16, we allege that he disposed of Mr. Rakes’ body off of Mill Street in Lincoln,” said Ryan.
In court Friday, Camuti’s wrists were bandaged. Sources tell 7News he has been hospitalized since July 20, when state police executed a search warrant at his Sudbury apartment.
“I’m shocked, I still am. I always thought he was the nicest guy,” said one neighbor.
Until recent police activity, neighbors said they would never have suspected Camuti could be wrapped up in a criminal case.
“I would have never thought he needed money, never said anything about it,” said one neighbor.
Rakes claimed Bulger forced him to give up his South Boston liquor store. Rakes regularly attended Bulger’s trial and hoped to testify. At this point, investigators said there is no connection to Bulger.
“Our evidence indicates that Mr. Camuti acted alone and the evidence we’ve developed thus far indicates this involved a business transaction,” said Ryan.
Camuti pleaded not guilty in court. He is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for next week.
The medical examiner has not yet determined a cause of death for Rakes. The DA is waiting on results from the medical examiner's office before upping Camuti's charges to murder. The most serious charge he faces at this point is an attempted murder charge.