ATTLEBORO — The lawyer for a city man accused of robbing a 16-year-old boy at gunpoint denied Friday that his client is a gang member.
Michael Nevarez Jr., 20, of 14 Holman St., faces armed robbery while masked and weapons charges in Attleboro District Court. He was arraigned Friday on an additional charge of carrying a dangerous weapon.
Following a dangerousness hearing, Nevarez was ordered held without bail and faces a probation violation hearing for two other violent crimes.
During the hearing, Attleboro defense lawyer Amit Singh of Attleboro said Nevarez denied any involvement in the robbery, which occurred Jan. 15 at the Larson Woodland, near Willett Elementary School.
“They are trying to portray my client as a gang member. My client denies he is a member of any gang,” Singh said during a dangerousness hearing Friday.
Singh waved a police photo taken during a search of his client’s home showing a handgun on top of a blue bandana, which authorities say is a gang color. The lawyer said the gun was placed on top of the bandana for the photo.
Police also seized a pellet gun designed to resemble a Glock 9 mm handgun and an 8 mm handgun that fires blanks. But police allege it was modified to fire 9 mm rounds, which they reported finding in the apartment, according to court records.
The gun will be examined by state ballistics experts to determine whether it can function and meets the legal definition of a firearm, according to police.
Singh questioned the credibility of the alleged victim and evidence prosecutors say links Nevarez to the holdup. He said police found no weapon matching the description the teen gave to investigators.
In her argument, Assistant District Attorney Natasha Azevedo said there is sufficient evidence linking the defendant to the robbery.
She argued Nevarez was a danger because he has not followed the terms of his probation for crimes in which he robbed a 17-year-old boy of his sneakers and “sucker punched” another of cash.
He allegedly committed the robbery six months after being placed on probation for those crimes, an indication that he cannot obey court orders, the prosecutor said.
“It’s the commonwealth’s contention the defendant is a danger,” Azevedo said.
The 16-year-old boy told police he was robbed at gunpoint by Nevarez and two men in hoodies after arranging to buy a handgun using Snapchat to communicate with Nevarez.
The alleged victim told police he recognized Nevarez even though he wore a ski mask, according to court records.
The case was continued to Feb. 13 for a probable cause hearing and a probation violation hearing.