BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts man was ordered held on $100,000 bail Monday after a prosecutor told a judge the man lied about the 2008 killing of a Northeastern University student from Connecticut.
Michael Balba, of Billerica, pleaded not guilty to four counts of perjury to a grand jury investigating the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Rebecca Payne, of New Milford, Conn.
Cornell Smith, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder in Payne's slaying. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said Payne was "an innocent victim" and Smith was after someone else in her apartment building. Smith is serving an unrelated 12-year drug sentence.
In court on Monday, a prosecutor said Balba was a crack user who bought drugs from Smith and drove him and another man to a location near Payne's apartment the night she was killed. The prosecutor said Balba heard the gunshots but did not tell police. He said Balba had previously acknowledged his connection to Smith.
Balba's lawyer, James Dongora Jr., said Balba testified before the grand jury and "cooperated to his fullest ability."
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said Payne had no connection to Balba, Smith or any drug activity.