Mattapan Massacre Trial Ends With 1 Man Cleared And A Mistrial
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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – After seven days of deliberating, the jury in the Mattapan murders trial declared Thursday it could not come to an agreement on all 19 counts.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.
In the end, one man was acquitted and the other will have to go to trial again.
Dwayne Moore and Edward Washington faced murder and other charges for the September 2010 shootings of three adults and a toddler during a drug robbery.
Jurors first told the judge on Monday they had reached verdicts on 10 charges, but were were deadlocked 11-1 on the nine remaining charges in the case.
After telling the judge Thursday afternoon they could not break the deadlock, the judge declared a mistrial for the nine outstanding charges.
“I’d like to say that these jurors are heroes. They stood up against a lot of pressure, and they did their job. They came back, they were assiduous in their deliberations,” said defense attorney John Cunha. “I’d like to tip my hat to the jury.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic spoke to both defense attorneys:
The jury determined that Edward Washington was not guilty on all nine charges that he faced, including four counts of first-degree murder.
After he was declared not guilty on three of the murder charges, a woman screamed obscenities at the back of the courtroom. As she tried to storm out on her own, she was grabbed and pulled out by court officers.
The outburst was captured on live television in Boston as the verdicts were being read.
Watch raw video of the court outbursts:
Moments later, the accused gunman, Dwayne Moore, was found not guilty on a charge of trafficking cocaine.
However, he will now have to a face a new trial on the nine remaining charges – four counts of first-degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery, assault with intent to murder, assault and battery and firearm possession – because the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.
“I believe the evidence in this case fell woefully below the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” said defense attorney John Amabile. “I think the jury had an unbelievably difficult thing to do to overcame the enormous pressure to convict in this crime.”
During the nearly month-long trial, defense lawyers challenged the credibility of the prosecution’s key witness, Kimani Washington, who admitted taking part in the robbery, but said he left before the shootings.
Kimani Washington is Edward Washington’s cousin.
“What (Kimani Washington) testified to in court was corroborated, not only by Marcus Hurd’s testimony…but also other things, like cellular phone calls and that sort of thing, so that decision was made and we stand by that decision, and we expect that Kimani Washington will be a witness in trial No. 2 against Dwayne Moore,” said Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley.
Eyanna Flonory, her 2-year-old son Amani Smith, Levaughn Washum-Garrison and Simba Martin were all killed in the shootings. A fifth victim, Marcus Hurd, was left paralyzed.
Outside court Thursday afternoon, relatives of the victims’ were livid with the verdicts and screamed and cursed at reporters.
“How many times you gonna kill before you get some time,” one woman yelled.
Edward Washington did not walk free, despite the acquittals. He’s still being held on other charges in an unrelated case.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis released a statement about Thursday’s verdicts:
“Today’s development in the Woolson Street quadruple homicide has not deterred the focus and commitment of the Boston Police Department in partnership with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to secure the justice deserved for the victims, their loved ones and the entire Mattapan community. We continue to extend our compassion and sorrow to the family and friends of the victims as well as express our steadfast dedication to pursue the prosecution of Dwayne Moore.
Officers are coordinating closely with city agencies such as the health department to provide residents with direct access to support services. As a precaution, additional officers will be in the area walking and talking with residents. At this time, the criminal justice process continues and it is imperative as a community to respect that process and allow it to work.”
Boston Mayor Tom Menino also released a statement about the verdicts:
“The verdict today in the emotional trial of Edward Washington and Dwayne Moore is difficult for the families and all of those that knew and loved the victims. It is hard to accept decisions like the one handed down today. The fact a young child was one of the victims makes it even more tragic. My heart goes out to all of those who are mourning once again and who have not yet found the justice they seek for their loved ones. I have no doubt that the efforts of our Boston Police Detectives, and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office will not be deterred in their search for justice for these families.
“I am most concerned now about the neighborhood and families of those involved in this case. I encourage all those who are grieving to seek the guidance of trusted friends or spiritual advisors and not act on raw emotion during this difficult time. Our city needs to heal. We need to be good to one another and take care of our neighbors to stop the cycle of violence and prevent another tragedy like this heinous one that occurred in 2010.
“I have asked our human service agencies to be visible and available to all members of the community by walking the neighborhood today and throughout the weekend. It is our resilience in the face of tragedy that makes Boston what it is and I have confidence in our city to come together during this difficult time.”
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)