CAMBRIDGE -- Prosecutors began detailing their case yesterday against a man charged with three others with raping a Cambridge waitress and beating her to death last fall.
Willie James Bradwell, 22, is accused of first-degree murder, rape, first- and second-degree sex offenses and conspiracy in the death Sept. 4 of Yvonne Fountain, 33, whose decomposing body was found Sept. 15, wrapped in plastic in woods near one of Cambridge's busiest drug corners.
Willie McRae III, 17, and William Wongus III and Diontre Lamont Stanton, both 16, were arrested with Bradwell and charged as adults with first-degree murder, rape, first- and second-degree sex offenses and conspiracy.
Last month, McRae pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the killing. Stanton and Wongus will be tried separately this year.
Police say that Fountain, in search of crack cocaine, was forced or voluntarily went into an alley, where she was raped and forced to perform oral sex by four assailants, then punched, stomped and beaten with a .22-caliber rifle with such force that the wooden butt shattered.
"This is as serious as you can get in criminal law," Dorchester County prosecutor Michael Maloney told jurors in Circuit Court. "I feel certain you'll have no trouble finding that this woman was forced to do what she did. There was no consensual sex in that alley, the motive for this murder was to cover up the sex acts."
In his opening statement, defense attorney Arch McFadden told jurors that the only evidence against Bradwell would be the testimony of McRae, a witness he said is discredited by his guilty plea in the case and by conflicting stories McRae gave police before and after his arrest.
"There is absolutely no evidence that links my client to this case," said McFadden, who tried to have the trial moved because of media coverage. "There's nothing backing up the state's case, not one shred of evidence."
Testimony will continue today.
The case is expected to go to the jury of 10 women and two men by the end of the week.