The first of two brothers charged with killing two other brothers almost three years ago in Mastic Beach pleaded not guilty Thursday in a Riverhead courtroom.
Charged in the December 2015 shooting deaths of Blake Chambers, 28, and Codi Chambers, 22, are Brian Barham and Lydell Barham, both 34 . They have been indicted on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
Authorities have been closemouthed about the case. Assistant District Attorney Daryl Levy did not discuss the facts of the case during Brian Barham's arraignment Thursday and declined to comment afterward. Lydell Barham, who is in an upstate prison on a drug conviction, will be returned to Suffolk for arraignment on these charges on Oct. 10.
Levy told State Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro that Brian Barham had a 36-page criminal history. He was on parole for a conviction of attempted criminal possession of a weapon when he was arrested. Ambro ordered Brian Barham held without bail.
Brian Barham's attorney, Jonathan Manley of Hauppauge, said a witness in the case initially identified "someone other than my client and his brother" as the killer.
"Brian did not do this," Manley said. "We're looking forward to the trial."
Lydell Barham is in prison after a robbery conviction. He and two others were accused in March 2016 of robbing a teenager who came to their Bay Shore home to buy marijuana.
Police later searched the house and said they recovered three loaded handguns, several grams of heroin, about 40 grams of cocaine and marijuana.
The Chambers brothers were shot in their home three months earlier, leaving detectives an extensive crime scene and no obvious suspect,.
Blake Chambers was found with a gunshot wound when officers got there after a 911 call at about 12:25 p.m., police said at the time.
Codi Chambers initially survived the shooting but both were pronounced dead at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.
“We don’t know what the motive was right now,” Homicide Squad commanding officer Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer said at the time. “We’re looking into backgrounds. We’re looking into who might have wanted to do this. We’re investigating all aspects of these victims’ lives.”
Suffolk homicide detectives declined to comment on the case on Thursday.