, Salem, MA

Local News

November 19, 2013

Police: Suspect's girlfriend hid key witness

DANVERS — A Danvers woman has been charged with trying to prevent a key witness to a Lynn shooting from testifying during trial.

Allyson Cross, 23, of 70 Centre St., burst into tears as she was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail by a Salem District Court judge on charges of witness intimidation and conspiracy.

Prosecutors and police say Cross was instrumental in preventing a witness to the May 2012 shooting of a Lynn man from testifying last week during the trial of Cross’ boyfriend, Kyle Avant, and a second suspect, Terrence Johnson. Prosecutors said she played on the witness’s interest in her and let him stay with her in her mother’s home to hide from authorities.

In part because of the unavailability of the witness, prosecutors were forced to offer Avant and Johnson plea deals; Avant, 31, got a seven-to-eight-year prison term, and Johnson, 31, got two years.

Cross allegedly told the witness, whom she referred to as “Meth Mouth” in recorded conversations with Avant, that he shouldn’t testify and that his name was “all over the court” last summer. Subsequently, the witness contacted the district attorney’s office in August to say he did not want to testify.

The trial of Avant and Johnson began last week in Salem Superior Court, and prosecutors sent a notice to the witness, Bryan LeBlanc, to appear in court on Nov. 12. When LeBlanc didn’t show up, Judge Howard Whitehead issued a bench warrant for his arrest, and Lynn police began their own investigation, looking for the witness.

They used cellphone records to link him to Cross, prosecutor Lindsay Shaheen told a Salem District Court judge.

After reviewing recordings of calls between Avant, who was being held at Middleton Jail, and Cross, police from Lynn and Danvers worked together to get an arrest warrant for Cross — whom police, looking through a window, could see at one point watching television inside the house. When they knocked, the television set was turned off, and no one answered the door.

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