ATTLEBORO -- As a grand jury probe into the Dec. 4 murder in Attleboro continues, a prosecutor for the first time identified on Monday one of the two armed suspects as the alleged shooter.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Mohan identified Jaquan Cohen, 26, of South Boston, as the triggerman in the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Thomas Pomare at 148 South Ave.
Cohen has not yet been arrested and authorities have offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to his apprehension.
He was allegedly one of two armed men who forced their way into a house at 148 South Ave. in what prosecutors say was a plan to steal 10 pounds of marijuana valued at $20,000 that went awry.
Pomare, an Attleboro native who moved to California, was staying at the house visiting relatives in the area in the wake of the murder of his brother. He was asleep on the couch and was shot once in the head during the commotion, according to prosecutors.
Pomare, who was the father of two children and was expecting a third child, had nothing to do with marijuana inside the house, according to his family and authorities. He died after being brought to Sturdy Memorial Hospital.
Cohen was allegedly accompanied into the house by Job Williams, 33, of Boston. The men fled after the shooting in an SUV allegedly driven by Archie Charles, 25, of Malden. Williams and Charles also face murder charges.
Authorities alleged the men were recruited by Devaun Petigny, 25, of Attleboro, who faces charges of conspiracy to commit robbery for allegedly plotting to steal the marijuana.
Mohan disclosed Cohen as the triggerman during a pretrial hearing in Attleboro District Court for a man arrested in the initial stages of the investigation on charges of lying to police.
Mohan said there is no evidence that man, Christopher B. Johnson, 24, of Attleboro, had anything to do with the robbery plot or the murder. Johnson has pleaded innocent to lying to police and is being held in jail on bail.
Johnson allegedly approached investigators at the murder scene, Mohan said, and made statements to police that he was at the house before the shooting to visit the resident there. He allegedly told police he was concerned about his friend, James Burrus, when he saw someone being taken away in an ambulance, Mohan said.
He also said he spoke to two women and used their cellphone. But the women contradicted Johnson when they were tracked down by police, Mohan said. Police had to spend time preparing a photo array so the women could identify the man they talked to, the prosecutor said.
Mohan argued that they spoke to Johnson shortly after the shooting when the only information they had was that at least three individuals were involved and that they fled in an SUV.
Johnson's lawyer, Ted Koban of Attleboro, is seeking a stipulation from prosecutors acknowledging that his client had nothing to do with the murder if he is not allowed access to impounded materials filed in the ongoing grand jury investigation.
Mohan agreed to provide a written stipulation and the case was continued to March 13.