Round 2 for Mattapan massacre trial begins
The long and anguishing process of hearing how four young people, including a 2-year-old boy, were executed on a Mattapan street began again Wednesday for the family members and friends of the Mattapan massacre victims.
The last time the family members were in the downtown Boston court building for the trial some of them had to be carried out, overcome with emotion after a jury acquitted one man and could not come to a verdict on murder charges facing Dwayne Moore.
Moore, 35, is accused of gunning down the four people and shooting another man in the head during a home invasion and robbery in 2010. On Wednesday, lawyers gave their opening statements for Moore’s retrial.
Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin again laid out his case, telling jurors about the carnage the responding police officers encountered on the street and the witnesses he plans to call.
One of those witnesses is key to the prosecution’s case, but his testimony has been controversial. Kimani Washington was arrested in connection with the murders, but is serving time in jail as part of a plea deal. He will testify that he left before the murders and that Moore had also participated in the robbery, but didn’t leave with him.
But Washington’s credibility came under attack by John Amabile, Moore’s attorney.
Amabile called Washington a “drunk” and a “gangster” who makes a living committing robberies and can’t be trusted.
“He’s a person … capable of fabricating a story, falsely implicating Dwayne Moore,” said Amabile. “There’s enough doubt in this case to drive a truck through.”
Zabin, in his opening statement, acknowledged Washington’s history and plea deal, but told the jurors that they can decide credibility for themselves and not a defense attorney.
“I invite you to put him under a microscope when he takes that witness stand,” said Zabin. “Don’t sell yourselves short. The decision on credibility belongs to you and you alone.”
The trial is expected to last weeks.
Boston or bust
The start of Wednesday’s opening statements was delayed by about 90 minutes because jurors were unable to make their way to the Suffolk Superior Court near Government Center.
The jurors were selected from Worcester County because of the intense media coverage of the case and trial. They are being bused in from Worcester each day.
But on Wednesday they were delayed because they had no way to get to the city.
A scheduler at the bus company wrote down the wrong day, said Judge Jeffrey Locke.
Emotions in check
Because of the expanded impact of the tragic murders and the graphic, intense details that are discussed during the trial, emotions are hard to keep under control.
The first trial earlier this year was interrupted by multiple outbursts and the courtroom overflowed with family members and friends of the multiple victims.
However, during the start of Wednesday’s retrial only a handful of the family members and friends showed up. Some of them put their heads down, wiped tears and left the courtroom while the murders were recounted in the opening statements.
“It has become clear that some portions of these proceedings can be difficult to observe and restrain one’s emotions,” said Judge Jeffrey Locke, who added that those who felt they could not control their emotions should watch the trial from a video feed in a nearby courtroom.
The deceased victims of the Mattapan shooting ranged in age from 2 to 22.
*Amanihotep Smith, 2
*Eyanna Flonory, 21
*Simba Martin, 21
*Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22
*Marcus Hurd was shot in the head but survived. He is now a quadriplegic, but is expected to testify during the retrial.