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Killing Suspects To Plead Guilty

Two suspects involved in May 2009 Kirkland shooting plead to lesser charge

By Hana N. Rouse and Xi Yu, Crimson Staff Writers

Blayn Jiggetts and Jason Aquino—two of the three men implicated in the May 2009 Kirkland House shooting—have made an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for cooperating with the district attorney’s office.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, Aquino now faces the lesser charge of manslaughter after agreeing to cooperate with Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone, Jr. ’85 in a case against Jabrai Jordan Copney—who allegedly shot Justin Cosby—according to the Boston Globe.

Aquino now faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail after making the agreement with prosecutors.

Although Jiggetts will also face prison time, George Murphy, Jiggetts’s attorney, declined to comment to the Globe on the nature of his client’s sentencing.

Jiggetts took the stand Friday against Brittany J. Smith, a former Harvard student and Copney’s former girlfriend, at the Middlesex Superior Court, according to the Globe. During her arraignment last March, Smith pleaded not guilty to charges of accessory after the fact of murder and several other charges related to the shooting.

At Friday’s hearing, her defense attorney, John Osler, tried to get the court to throw out all criminal charges against her, according to the Globe.

Smith originally signed a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for agreeing to divulge everything she knew about the shooting. Prosecutors allege that Smith withheld information related to the case and therefore reneged on her agreement, the Globe wrote.

Aquino, Jiggetts, and Copney all previously pleaded not guilty to the murder.

Copney allegedly shot Justin Cosby, a Cambridge Rindge and Latin graduate who did not attend Harvard, on May 18, 2009 during what investigators have called a failed “drug rip.”

Leone said in 2009 that Copney, Aquino, and Jiggetts had initially planned to steal drugs and money from Cosby.

Cosby allegedly sold drugs to Harvard students.

Police reportedly recovered a pound of marijuana and approximately $1,000 from the crime scene, Leone said.

The four men met in the basement of Kirkland’s J-entryway shortly before 5 p.m. that night.

According to a police report, a struggle broke out between Cosby and the three suspects. Jiggetts allegedly drew a gun, which he then passed to Copney.

Copney allegedly fired three shots, one of which fatally wounded Cosby.

Cosby fled Kirkland House and travelled up Dunster Street towards Mt. Auburn Street.

Witnesses reported that Cosby, who was bleeding from his lower torso, collapsed on the ground and asked for water.

He was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where his mother Denise Cosby, said he died hours later.

Smith called a cab and used the driver’s phone to help Copney, Aquino, and Jiggetts escape, Leone said in a March 2010 press release.

The three men then took a bus from South Station to New York, where all three men are from.

Smith allegedly hid the murder weapon, lied to the police, and misled the grand jury when she testified.

When Smith returned to Harvard the day after the shooting, she told the police that her boyfriend’s name was Jordan Coombs and that he left the University hours before the murder, according to Leone.

Chanequa N. Campbell, a former undergraduate, previously denied any involvement in the incident and has not been charged to date, but on Friday, according to the Globe, she admitted to making drug deals with Copney.

The University denied both Smith and Campbell their diplomas in 2009.

—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at

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