As the court clerk told Dwayne Moore that he would spend the rest of his natural life in prison for killing four people, including a 2-year-old boy and his mother, the family members of the victims hugged and raised their held hands in the air.
It was a moment of relief for the families of 21-year-old Eyanna Flonory, 2-year-old Amanihotep Smith, 21-year-old Simba Martin and 22-year-old Levaughn Washum-Garrison, who thought their loved one's killer would never be brought to justice.
"I didn't think it was going to go too well to be honest," said Patricia Washum, Levaughn's mother. "Just to have a verdict before the holidays, it's not going to bring back our loved ones, but at least we have a little peace to know that the people who did this will pay for it."
Dwayne Moore was sentenced on Tuesday to life without parole for the 2010 killings in Mattapan. A jury found him guilty on Monday of four counts of murder.
It was the second trial for Moore whose first trial earlier this year ended in a deadlocked jury. Just hours before the jury returned their guilty verdict, they told the judge they were at an impasse, according to the Globe. However, the judge ordered them to try again.
Many of the victims' family members sat through the first trial and fewer of them sat through the retrial. Both trials included graphic testimony and evidence about the fatal shootings.
As a prosecutor talked about the murders in court Tuesday, the family members shook their heads from side to side, held their hands over their mouths and clutched tissues that were wet with their tears. It was a familiar scene that had played out throughout much of the weeks of trial this year.
But on Tuesdasy there were also smiles, hugs and laughter from the families that had waited a long time for accountability.
During the sentencing hearing the families were able to speak to the court about how the murders have impacted them.
"We got a guilty verdict … that still doesn’t bring none of them back," said Ebony Flonory, Eyanna's sister, as she cried while giving a victim impact statement.
Patricia Washum also gave a victim impact statement.
"Although the verdict will never replace our loved ones at least now their souls can rest," she said.
The case will automatically be reviewed and Moore's attorney said he would appeal.