Accomplice describes brutal slaying
By Denise LaVoie
BOSTON As Io Nachtwey was being stabbed over and over, she screamed and begged for her life. Her screams were so loud that her friend Ana White was asked to "shut her up."
So White put her hand over the former Maui woman's mouth while another female friend held Nachtwey down as a man thrust a 10-inch knife into her stomach.
It wasn't until after another man cracked a pair of nunchucks, a martial arts weapon, against Nachtwey's skull that the screaming stopped. Then there was just quiet, White said.
Testifying yesterday at the trial of the four men accused of killing the 22-year-old Nachtwey in November 2001, White's voice quaked as she described the final seconds of her friend's life.
"She was just screaming, like, 'Help me! Why? Stop' ... just horrible screaming," White said.
When Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan asked her about nunchucks, White choked up.
"Did you hear that weapon strike (her) head?" Duggan asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"What did it sound like?"
"Bad," she said. "Like a crack."
After Nachtwey was struck in the head, "she just lied there," White said.
White, 21, testified as part of a deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for her testimony against the four men charged in Nachtwey's killing: Harold Parker, 31; Luis Vasquez, 22; his brother Ismael Vasquez, 27, and Scott Davenport, 31.
White admitted putting her hand over Nachtwey's mouth during the killing. She said another woman, Lauren Alleyne, pulled Nachtwey down and held her down while Davenport stabbed her. Alleyne also cut a plea deal with prosecutors and is expected to testify later in the trial.
White's testimony moved one female juror to tears. The juror wiped her eyes and cried as White described Nachtwey's screams.
The testimony offered a glimpse into the violent world of a group of young homeless people who hung out in "The Pit," a small brick plaza above the Harvard Square subway station.
Nachtwey, who had moved to Cambridge a few months before her killing after dropping out of Maui Community College, frequently panhandled in the Pit. It was here that she met and became friends with White and Alleyne. It was here, prosecutors say, that the Vasquez brothers and Parker recruited them to become members of their fledgling gang.
Haggan told the jury that Nachtwey was killed as a warning to other recruits that disobedience would not be tolerated. The gang's leaders believed her boyfriend was plotting a rebellion against them by some other members.
White said after Nachtwey was killed, Davenport and Luis Vasquez dumped her body off a railroad bridge into the Charles River.
Davenport, who was recruited because he had a car, initially refused to participate in the killing, telling Ismael Vasquez, "I don't want to be involved in this." But White said he agreed to stab Nachtwey after Vasquez told him, "If you don't, you won't walk out of here."
After Nachtwey was killed, Davenport, still carrying the knife, said, "What a rush," White testified. "He was walking like nothing had happened," she said.
Davenport shook his head and put his hand to his temple as White testified.