Police have charged Mount Pearl resident Kenny Green on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with a violent beating at a downtown St. John's house that neighbours say is swept up in the illegal drug trade.

"This was not a random act of violence," said Cst. Talia Murphy, a spokesperson for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. "These two individuals were known to each other. We do not believe there is a public safety concern at this time."                   

Green, 34, was formally charged during an appearance in provincial court on Tuesday.

Joey Whalen, 47, died Sunday morning of injuries sustained during a violent altercation at a Tessier Place house four days earlier.

A neighbour told CBC News last week that Whalen had been "coated in blood" when he was carried out of the Tessier Place home on a stretcher, and that his hands had been tied.

Police have not revealed what weapons were used in the attack, but sources tell CBC News that Whalen had been brutalized with a bat, and had also been stabbed.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said a tactical unit arrested Green late Monday night without incident at a home in the west end of St. John's.

Since last week, police have been collecting evidence inside and around the Tessier Place house. Neighbours told CBC News they have long been worried about the house, which they believe is used for drug dealing.

Green was sent on Tuesday to do a seven-day psychiatric assessment before his next court appearance.

Green has a criminal record that includes drug trafficking and conspiracy to sell drugs. In 2004, he was sentenced to five years in prison. Joey Whalen, his alleged victim, also had a criminal record but not for drug charges.

The court has ordered Green not to have contact with three potential witnesses.