For Immediate Release - May 30, 2007

Dowds Guilty Of First Degree Murder

A Lawrence Superior Court Jury today found Roy C. Dowds, Jr, 33, of Lawrence, guilty of first degree murder in the death of Keith Koster, 20, of Boxford. The jury deliberated for four hours over the course of two days before returning its verdict, following the six day trial.

Judge Richard Welch sentenced Dowds to the mandatory term of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Essex Assistant District Attorney James Gubitose proved that on the evening of May 4, 2006, Dowds was stealing an SUV belonging to Koster, who was working at a clothing store on Route 114 in Danvers. Koster saw the vehicle being stolen and ran out to try to stop it.

In doing so, he stepped onto the vehicle's running board, ordering Dowds to stop. Instead, the defendant sped off, reaching speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour, and weaving all over the road before striking a telephone pole in an effort to shake Koster off the SUV.

While being interviewed after the murder, Dowds admitted to investigators that he would "run into everything around me" in order to shake Koster off the vehicle.

Koster died of massive head trauma at the scene.

Dowds was also convicted of unarmed robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle, and those convictions were filed.

Gubitose lauded the excellent work of State Police Lt. Norman Zuk, Danvers Police Sgt. Carole Germano, Assistant District Attorney A.J. Camelio, who second seated at the trial, and Victim/Witness Advocate Kathleen Draper.

-30-