Leahy Charged With Six Counts For Bank Heist

Smith Remains in Critical Condition

A Charlestown man was ordered held without bail in Cambridge District Court yesterday in connection with an armored-car robbery attempt and shoot out in Harvard Square Wednesday.

Keith A. Leahy, 25, faces six charges, including assault with intent to murder and armed robbery while masked. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.

Another suspect, Brendon F. Smith, 24, also of Charlestown, remained in critical condition in the intensive-care unit of Beth Israel Hospital. He was shot in the head and arm by a Brinks armored-car guard in the lunchtime exchange of gunfire.

Meanwhile, FBI agents and state, city and Harvard police continued to comb Charlestown and South Boston in a massive hunt for a third suspect, who escaped.

Leahy and Smith threatened the life of an armored-car guard as he made a cash delivery to the Bank of Boston branch on Mass. Ave. and attempted to flee with one of 10 sacks of cash the guard had wheeled into the bank's foyer, police say.

The two men were injured in the ensuing shoot out, in which more than six rounds of ammunition were fired. Bleeding, they climbed into a getaway vehicle and attempted to drive off before they rear-ended a parked car and were arrested.

The third suspect, who may have been the getaway car driver, sprinted away, police said. He may have been injured in the shoulder, according to authorities.

Police recovered a fully loaded Smith & Wesson 9-millimeter gun, a Smith & Wesson. 357 magnum and a semi-automatic Tech 9.

Authorities also recovered the stolen sack of cash, which contained $281,000, from the back seat of the car, prosecutor Adrienne C. Lynch, the Middlesex assistant district attorney, told the Associated Press.

Leahy was released from Beth Israel yesterday morning after being treatedovernight for gunshot wounds to the back. He wastaken by police to Cambridge District Court andwas arraigned.

Along with assault and armed robbery, Leahyfaces charges of discharging a weapon within 500feet of a building, possession of a firearmwithout a permit, larceny of a motor vehicle andwearing body armor while committing a felony.

Smith remained in critical condition in BethIsrael following a 10-hour operation Wednesday.Hospital spokesperson Anthony Lloyd told reportersWednesday that Smith underwent neurosurgery. Smithwas shot in the head and arm.

Smith has not yet been arraigned, because asuspect must be physically present to facecharges, said John P. Towle, spokesperson for theMiddlesex District Attorney's office.

The Brinks guard was identified by WBZ-TV andthe AP as William Crowley, 26, of Marshfield.

Crowley worked as a Washington, D.C., policeofficer from 1990 to 1993, the AP reported.

Law enforcement officials refused to discusswhether Crowley followed regulations, callingarmored-car procedures "highly confidential."

The Brinks Inc. office in Roxbury directed allinquiries to its national headquarters in Darien,Conn. Marvin Moss, a spokesperson, said thecompany had no comment.

No one answered telephone calls to the Crowleyresidence in Marshfield yesterday.

Leahy faces life imprisonment for the armedrobbery charge, but if convicted he could beparoled, according to Towle.

Adrienne C. Lynch, Middlesex assistant districtattorney, will prosecute the case.

District Judge Arthur Sherman assigned a publicdefender, Charles Kurzon of Cambridge, torepresent Leahy.

The suspects may also face charges under thefederal bank robbery and armored-car robberystatutes. But Boston FBI Special Agent Peter S.Genieres said the federal government may delay itsprosecution until the state case is completed.

Genieres said federal prosecutors actedsimilarly in the Brookline abortion-clinic murdertrial. The government is waiting for Massachusettsand Virginia to complete their cases against JohnC. Salvi 3d before going ahead with itsprosecution.

U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern and MiddlesexDistrict Attorney Thomas Reilly will negotiatewhich further charges, if any, will be filed,Genieres said.

Leahy and Smith

The few facts known about Leahy and Smith shedsome light on the young men's pasts. Both grew upin the Charlestown suburb of Boston, an area withone of the highest concentration of armored-carheists in the nation and a reputation with lawenforcement.

A man answering the phone at Leahy's residenceat 104 Elm St. in Charlestown identified himselfas the suspect's father but refused give anyinformation about the suspect.

"My family's going through a really hard timeright now and I'm not discussing it," the mansaid.

The Boston Globe reported that Leahy worked inconstruction after graduating from ChristopherColumbus High School, which has since closed. "Heseemed like a mature, stable guy," a neighbor toldThe Globe.

Smith is the nephew of gangster Robert Smith,who is currently in jail for a drug traffickingcharge, and the brother of Brian E. Smith, 27, TheGlobe reported.

The Suffolk District Attorney's officeconfirmed yesterday that Brian Smith was chargedwith assault and battery with a gun after aDecember 3, 1994 incident in South Boston. Thatcase was dismissed after a pre-trial hearingJanuary 20.

The Globe also reported that Brian Smith is theprime suspect in a 1991 murder in Charlestown. Noarrests have yet been made in that case.

Of the 90 armored-car robberies in the U.S. in1993, 14 occurred in the Greater Bostonmetropolitan area, according to FBI statistics.

Third Suspect Sought

The hunt for the third suspect extended to theneighborhood of South Boston yesterday.

Law enforcement officers believe thesuspect--described as a white male in his 20s--mayhave been the driver of the getaway car thatcrashed.

He fled down Dunster Street as gunfire wasexchanged between the Brinks guard and Leahy andSmith.

Police found a beige jacket with a bullet holein its shoulder, assumed to be the suspect's, inUniversity Health Services (UHS) Wednesday.Cambridge Police cordoned off Holyoke Center forthree hours as a trained dog searched thebuilding, but gave up their search Wednesdayevening.

Cambridge Police Detective Frank T. Pasquarellosaid Leahy and Smith had not been questioned inBeth Israel about the third suspect.

"We haven't discussed anything with themregarding the individual case," Pasquarello said.

Authorities said they are following leads inCharlestown and South Boston based on interviewsconducted with witness.

Agent Genieres said authorities are exploringpossible links to an armored-car heist last summerin Hudson, N. H. Two guards were killed in theincident, but no arrests have been made