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Arraignment: Charles Cherry, 66, was charged yesterday in the murder of Elvia McField, a neighbor at the Boston Housing Authority building where he lived.

A 66-year-old disabled man used a rifle to shoot one of his neighbors inside a Boston Housing Authority building, left her to die and stashed the murder weapon in his apartment, prosecutors allege.
Charles Cherry's eyes bulged and he looked disoriented yesterday in Roxbury District Court as he pleaded not guilty to killing Elvia McField, 56. His attorney claims he suffers from a disease that causes memory loss.
Police were called to the fourth floor of 125 Amory St., a BHA building for elderly and disabled people, just after 11 p.m. Friday where they found McField suffering from what they believed to be a stab wound to the neck. She was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.
Police followed a trail of blood to Cherry's apartment, where they later found a rifle in a bedroom, said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Hickman.
Investigators also viewed surveillance video that showed McField entering Cherry's apartment and then stumbling out, bleeding, she said.
Cherry told police that McField owed him money, Hickman said. She suggested that the killing was planned because of the brief time McField was inside.
"She had been a friend, but was no longer a friend," Hickman said, adding that McField was in Cherry's apartment for 17 seconds.
Hickman said the bullet pierced McField's lung.
Cherry's attorney, Stephen Weymouth, said his client suffers from a neurological disorder that affects his short-term memory and needs a walker or wheelchair to get around. Yesterday, Cherry, who wore a hospital gown, was hunched over and needed the help of court officers to stand straight.
Cherry's family said he is a deacon at a church.
"He's a good person and a lot of people take advantage of him," said Cherry's stepson, Calvin Baker, 39, declining to comment further.
McField's family described the slain woman as a "loving person" who loved her nieces and nephews dearly. McField's brother, speaking on behalf of the family, declined to comment further.
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