Defense assails credibility of star witness in Mattapan slaying case
A defense attorney today attacked the prosecution’s star witness in the Mattapan massacre case, saying he was a “snake oil salesman” who had lied to save himself from a life sentence in prison.
But a prosecutor said Kimani Washington’s testimony, along with the testimony of dozens of other witnesses, proved the case against Dwayne Moore beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The evidence points in one direction, to the defendant, Dwayne Moore,” Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin told a jury in his closing argument in Moore’s trial in Suffolk Superior Court.
Moore, 35, is on trial for the second time on four counts of first-degree murder and other charges stemming from the Sept. 28, 2010 shootings on Woolson Street in Mattapan. Attorneys made closing arguments today in a trial that has stretched over five weeks.
Judge Jeffrey Locke is expected to instruct the jury Wednesday morning; the jury is then expected to begin deliberations.
Moore allegedly killed 21-year-old Simba Martin; Martin’s girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory, 21; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith,; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22, Martin’s friend, who slept on a couch at Martin’s Sutton Street house that night. A fifth man, Marcus Hurd, was shot in the head but survived.
Washington has admitted to being involved in the robbery plot that led up the slayings but has said he left before the shooting began. John Amabile, the defense attorney for Moore, targeted Washington in his closing argument
“To get himself off the hook, that’s Job One for Kimani Washington,” Amabile said. “This case is built on a foundation called Kimani Washington. Without accepting his testimony, you have no basis for convicting Dwayne Moore”
Kimani Washington, the master manipulator, used Dwayne Moore as a foil to commit this robbery. Dwayne Moore had nothing to do with it,” Amabile said, arguing that Kimani Washington himself was the shooter.
Washington testified against Moore in both trials in exchange for a lighter recommended sentence of 16 to 18 years on armed robbery charges.
Washington testified that he went with Moore and his cousin, Edward Washington, to Sutton Street to rob Martin, a drug dealer.
He testified that he left before Moore and Edward Washington forced the four murder victims, as well as Hurd, to walk over to Woolson Street, where they were all fatally shot.
Edward Washington was acquitted of all charges earlier this year while the same jury deadlocked over Moore’s guilt, leading to the current trial.
During Amabile’s impassioned closing, which lasted about 90 minutes, Moore was very still. He sat at the defendant's table in the Depression-era courthouse, leaning forward slightly with his head tilted down.
Zabin told the jury that Kimani Washington’s testimony was corroborated by other evidence and that “name-calling” and “character assassination” should play no role in the process.
“It is not the time for speculation, not the time to surmise or for conjecture,” he told jurors.
Zabin also told jurors that when Moore was confronted by authorities, he began shaking and sweating so much that police considered calling an ambulance.
Marcus Hurd, left paralyzed after allegedly being shot in the back of the head by Moore, was not able to identify Moore as the gunman at his first trial. But he appeared poised to drop a bombshell by testifying in the second trial that he could now identify Moore. Judge Locke ruled in October in favor of prosecutors who sought to introduce the new testimony.
But the prosecution never asked Hurd during his testimony Monday whether he recognized Moore as the shooter.
And today, Amabile said, “I want to suggest to you that Marcus Hurd is a tragic figure who makes no identification of Dwayne Moore.”
Jurors in the trial, which has been running for five weeks, were chosen from Worcester County residents. That came at the request of the defense which feared Moore could not be tried fairly by jurors drawn from the Boston area. The horrific slayings had shocked residents and made headlines in the city.John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Brian Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter at GlobeBallou.