An ex-prison guard from Middleboro is being held without bail in connection with 2003 slaying of Kingston man found in burned truck.


 

A former corrections officer is now being held without bail, accused of killing a 26-year-old man whose stabbed body was found in a truck set ablaze in Carver in 2003.


Darren Caswell, 44, of Middleboro, who retired as a corrections officer this year, was arraigned in Brockton Superior Court Monday on murder charges in connection with the slaying of Matthew Cote of Kingston as the victim’s family watched.


“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Cote’s father, Michael.


Caswell was arrested Friday after a grand jury handed up the murder indictment in the case. Assistant District Attorney John Bradley said investigators had given the case another look recently and reviewed the evidence again.


Caswell’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, in arguing bail should be set in the case, said his client has cooperated with authorities for years and knew for several months charges likely would be lodged but didn’t flee that area.


The victim’s father has worked for years to keep the case in the public eye and had even contacted America’s Most Wanted where the case was put on the show’s Web site.


Bradley told the court the victim had gone to a Carver home where Richard Freitas, a quadriplegic, was selling OxyContin — then was never seen alive again. Freitas is now dead.


He said Freitas later enlisted a friend to go to an area where Cote’s body was later found to pick up someone who needed a ride. Along the way, that friend told authorities Caswell was seen coming out of the woods dressed in black and they gave him a ride.


Bradley said phone records show several phone calls were made between Caswell and the Carver man both before and after Cote was killed.


He said Freitas was heard on the phone while en route to the area where the body would later be found saying to someone in a “cryptic, perhaps coded, remark, ‘I like duck. Just make sure it’s well done.’ ”


Cote , a flooring contractor, was found dead by two fishermen on a remote access road about a quarter mile off Tremont Street in Carver. Authorities said, based on an autopsy and forensic examination of the body, that Cote was killed and his truck and body set ablaze Cote, formerly of Middleboro, was found three days after he disappeared and was identified through dental records.


Bradley said Cote had been stabbed, apparently with a screw driver.


Maureen Boyle can be reached at mboyle@enterprisenews.com.