Dalton man convicted of killing his mother in 1973 beaten to death in Shirley prison


SHIRLEY -- David Sires found out Wednesday that his brother, William Sires, was beaten to death inside a cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, and now he fears a return of nightmares about the night in 1973 when his brother shot his mother to death in her Dalton home.

William Sires, 72, died in an ambulance on the way to HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, shortly after he was found badly beaten inside his cell at the maximum-security prison on Tuesday about 2 p.m.

The Worcester District Attorney's Office and the state Department of Correction are now investigating the slaying, but no charges have been filed so far.

"I know when I go to bed tonight this is all going to hit me in my dreams," said David Sires, of North Adams. "It kind of makes me afraid to go to sleep tonight, because I know I'm going to go through it."

William Sires was serving a sentence of life without parole for the Sept. 5, 1973, shooting death of his mother, Anna Sires, who was shot three times inside her home after arguing with William about a loan and about playing his stereo too loud.

William Sires, in a confession provided shortly after the killing, said he had been drinking with a friend all day on the day of the murder, and returned home about 10 p.m., got a loaded gun from his car and shot his mother. The argument had occurred earlier in the day.

William Sires was arrested the next day in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., where he confessed.

David Sires, of North Adams, said he hadn't spoken to his brother in years.

"I hate him for what he did, but he is blood -- he's still my brother," Sires said. "I still condemn him for what he did."

Sires said the murder took a massive toll on his family, and prompted one of his sisters to commit suicide about a year after the murder.

"I didn't only lose my mother, I lost my older sister, and a brother," David Sires said.

William Sires was initially convicted of first-degree murder in 1974, but later had that conviction overturned by the Supreme Judicial Court, which ruling that the trial judge erred in his instructions to the jury.

Sires then turned down an offer of a plea deal that would have seen him plead guilty to second-degree murder. Instead, he risked a second jury trial, and was once again convicted of first-degree murder following a jury trial in 1990. He was automatically sentenced to life without parole.

Had Sires taken the plea deal, he would have been eligible for parole years ago.

David Sires said his mother's murder was particularly tough for him, a self-described "momma's boy."

"My mother meant an awful lot to me," he said. "I was the first one contacted when he killed her. I had to identify her, and then turn around and tell my father."

"It's really hard," he added.

David Sires said he has one other brother and a sister who are still alive.

Tim Connolly, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early, said William Sires was found badly beaten inside his on Tier N1 at the prison on Tuesday about 2 p.m. He was pronounced dead inside an ambulance on the way to HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster at 2:36 p.m.

Investigators have not released further details of their investigation, nor have they said whether they have any suspects.

Video from Eagle media partner WNYT News Channel 13


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