Reconfigured jury in Mattapan massacre trial ends first full day of deliberations with questions
The reconfigured jury deciding whether Dwayne Moore was the person who shot and killed four people on a Mattapan street in 2010 ended a full day of deliberations this afternoon without reaching a verdict.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke sent the panel of six men and six women home shortly before 4 p.m. after the jury asked for legal guidance on three issues in the closely watched first-degree murder case.
In a note sent to Locke around 2:34 p.m. today, jurors asked several questions which Locke later shared with the public from the bench.
The jurors asked for clarification on the issue of joint venture, the legal concept that holds a person can be convicted of murder if they agree to participate in the crime, even if they do not pull the trigger.
Speaking from the bench, Locke told jurors that joint venture means a person has “knowing participation with another or others to commit a crime and sharing the mental state’’ and that the person must be an active participant in some way.
Mere knowledge is not sufficient. “There must be some involvement,” Locke said.
Jurors also raised some concerns about inconsistencies in the legal standard they must apply when reaching a verdict on charges of armed robbery, armed home invasion, and aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. Moore also faces those charges.
Locke told jurors that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Moore worked in concert with another person whom Moore knew was armed with a firearm in order for him to be convicted of those charges.
At the same time, Locke told jurors, prosecutors must prove Moore himself was armed before they can convict him of illegal possession of a firearm.
The judge also told jurors he was confused by the wording of one of their questions and asked them to rewrite it. At that point, the jurors asked to be released for the day.
Moore has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and defense lawyer John Amabile has told jurors that his client is wrongly accused. The jury in his first trial acquitted Moore’s co-defendant, Edward Washington, but could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charges against Moore.
Moore is accused of killing 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 had slept on a couch at Martin’s Sutton Street house on Sept. 28, 2010.
A fifth man, Marcus Hurd, was shot in the head but survived. It was one of the most horrific slaying cases in the city in decades.
On Monday, Locke removed a juror after learning that he had done some research on ballistics on his own and then tried to share it with the 11 other jurors.
With an alternate taking the discharged juror’s place, the new panel deliberated for about four hours Monday after the new juror was added. The jury returned to its deliberations around 9:30 a.m. today and sent questions to Locke around 2:34 p.m. today.
Jurors in the trial were chosen from Worcester County residents. They travel into Boston each day on a bus provided by the court system. The request for Worcester County jurors came from the defense, which feared that Moore could not be tried fairly by jurors drawn from Suffolk County because of the heavy news coverage of Moore’s first trial.Brian Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @GlobeBallou