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Fight breaks out in courtroom hall after Milford man arraigned on murder charge in Decoff case

by | May 1, 2024 | Featured: News, News

A fight broke out in a hallway in Framingham District Court Tuesday after a Milford man was arraigned on a murder charge in the death of a Milford woman in what authorities have called an apparent road rage incident.

Ryan Sweatt, 36, of Milford was charged with murder. He allegedly struck Destini Decoff, a 26-year-old Milford woman, with his Honda Civic. He was held without bail.

Decoff died on April 6 from injuries she sustained in the vicinity of Cornell’s Irish Pub at around 6:25 p.m. on April 4.  After being on life support for two days at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and undergoing multiple surgeries, she succumbed to her injuries.

Sweatt previously was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, operating to endanger, and a marked lanes violation. The additional charge was added after Decoff died.

Derege Dimissie, Sweatt’s attorney, claimed that her client was trying to flee the scene after passengers in the Toyota in which Decoff was riding attempted to surround his vehicle.

“He did not see her. He did not intend to kill her,” said Dimissie.

The attorney released the following statement Tuesday:

“This is not a road rage case as reported by the media. This was an accident that resulted when Ryan tried to get away from the group of people who came out of their car to attack him. He did not see the person who was struck.

He stopped his car after the impacted and cooperated with the police. There is a lot more to what was reported in the news, and as the facts come to light, I am confident it will become obvious this was a just a tragic accident. Ryan is a peaceful person who has always maintained a clean record with a long history of gainful employment. He was going home from work when the accident happened.”

This does not appear to be consistent with what investigators saw in video footage and heard from witnesses. Witnesses said that Sweatt made two U-turns and drove into Decoff, who was standing at the side of the road.

Multiple news outlets captured the courthouse brawl on videotape. It appeared that the families of the victim and defendant engaged in the altercation and were cursing. Decoff’s aunt said she suffered a cut on her neck and was reported to have been bleeding, according to WFXT-TV.

State police said no arrests were made in connection with the fight. It wasn’t immediately clear if charges would be filed in connection with the incident.

Sweatt is expected to return to court on May 30.

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