Attorney in Dorchester murder trial says Boston police officer has ‘hero syndrome’ and can’t be believed
A Boston police officer was so intent on being branded a hero that he lied about what he saw the day that 14-year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis was pulled off a scooter and shot to death, an attorney for a Dorchester man accused in the killing said today.
Rosemary Scapicchio made the allegation during her closing argument in the first-degree murder trial of Joshua Fernandes, 18, and Crisostomo Lopes, 22, in Suffolk Superior Court.
Scapicchio represents Fernandes.
During her 30 minute speech, Scapicchio said Suffolk prosecuters have failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that her client played a role in the teenager’s murder.
“The best they have done for you is ‘believe us because we said so,’ ” she told jurors in the Boston courtroom today.
She disputed the testimony of several key witnesses, most notably a Boston police officer who last week told jurors he witnessed the shooting. Scapicchio said that Anthony Williams was at least 11 cars away from the shooting and not in a position to clearly see what he claimed to have seen.
“Officer Williams is lying, plain and simple,” she said. “He has what we refer to as hero syndrome.”
Scapicchio argued that there were no other witnesses who corroborate his account, including a civilian who also told jurors that he saw the shooting. Scapicchio said that those witness accounts differ enough to inject reasonable doubt into the prosecution's case against her client.
She also pointed out that video surveillance footage taken at the time of the shooting showed other people running from the area.
“Eyewitness error and misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions,” she told jurors, adding that the investigation was incomplete because police made no attempt to exonerate Fernandes.
She said that there was no DNA or fingerprints linking him to the crime.
She downplayed incriminating statements Ferandes allegedly gave to authorities after he was arrested.
“He’s a 16-year-old, just arrested, just charged with a homicide, just told to take the fall for this,’’ she said.
Scapicchio was the first to deliver her closing arguments. The defense attorney for Lopes, Christopher Belezos, was expected to address jurors this afternoon.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan, the trial prosecutor, may deliver the third, and final, closing argument today.
According to prosecutors, Lopes allegedly pulled Fomby-Davis from the scooter he’d been riding on the evening of May 30, 2010, and held him at arm’s length while Fernandes shot the teen, near the area of Bowdoin and Olney streets in Dorchester.
The case sent a wave of fear and mourning throughout the community and touched off several antiviolence demonstrations.
Superior Court Judge Patrick Brady may hand the case over to the jury to begin deliberations by the end of the day.
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