The downtown bar where its bouncer is accused of killing a Marine veteran was grilled by the city’s licensing board on Tuesday as the pub faces a litany of violations.
Sons of Boston bar — whose lawyer during the licensing board hearing said the fa tal incident was “not foreseeable” — did not conduct a background check of murder suspect Alvaro Larrama before the pub hired him as a bouncer.
Sons of Boston has already lost its entertainment license after the fatal stabbing outside the Union Street bar last month. Larrama, a 39-year-old East Boston father of four, is charged with stabbing 23-year-old U.S. Marine veteran Daniel Martinez to death after the pair apparently got into a confrontation.
The pub was in front of the Boston Licensing Board on Tuesday, as the board members listed several violations from that incident. Those violations include an employee assaulting a patron with a deadly weapon, employee making bodily contact with a patron, armed security without prior board approval, and failing to call police.
Licensing Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce asked a series of questions to bar employees, including if they had conducted a background check of Larrama. He was not CORI checked by the pub, they admitted. Larrama previously served time for larceny convictions, as well as a drug-related crime.
Commissioner Liam Curran called the lack of a background check “willful ignorance.”
During the hearing, the bar’s lawyer Carolyn Conway said this “tragic and senseless death” at the bar was “not foreseeable by the licensee.”
“We just did not condone anybody having any weapons,” she said, adding, “The extent of what happened here was just not foreseeable by the licensee, and under the case law, that is the standard.”
Larrama, who was working as a bouncer at the bar, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Martinez, who was in town from Illinois and out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a Marine Corps buddy.
Martinez and his friend went to the Sons of Boston pub on Union Street, spending time inside the bar without incident. They then left and apparently got back in line to return to the bar.
While standing in line, Martinez and the bouncer appeared to get into a confrontation, according to video obtained by police. Martinez then began walking away, and Larrama allegedly chased after him. The bouncer is accused of then attacking Martinez and stabbing him to death.
Larrama went inside the bar after the stabbing, cleaning blood off of himself, and turning his shirt inside out. The bouncer then left the pub through the back door.
Following the initial crime scene investigation, the Boston Police’s Licensed Premises Unit returned to issue violations to the bar, ultimately saying that the establishment had armed security without prior board approval and “permitting a disturbance resulting in the licensed premise to becoming a focal point for police attention.”
At that point, police seized the entertainment license. The city said the bar didn’t have the required “security and operations plan.”
Martinez’ family last week announced that they’ll be filing a civil lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court against Sons of Boston.
The Licensing Board took the matter under advisement on Tuesday.