Relatives of murder victims who were shot execution-style September 28, 2010 were so upset at the outcome of their loved ones’ trial they had to be carried out of the court room yesterday. A mistrial was declared in the Mattapan massacre case of Dwayne Moore who faced first-degree murder charges for the robbery and dslaying of Simba Martin, 21; his girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory, 21; her son, Amanihotep Smith, 2; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22, who was staying at Martin’s home that night. Some of the victims were dragged into the street naked before being shot and the murders were labeled one of the most horrific crimes in Boston’s recent history. A fifth person, Marcus Hurd, was shot in the head but survived although he’s now paralyzed. He testified during the trial, but couldn’t identify the attackers.
The jury also cleared Dwayne of drug charges and acquitted the getaway driver, Edward Washington, of murder. Despite yesterday’s outcome, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said he will retry Dwayne Moore.
“I want to make clear from the outset that we have every intention of holding Dwayne Moore accountable. Today’s mistrial does not change our position that he pulled the trigger on five human beings, killing four and paralyzing one. … These crimes demand justice and the evidence supports a conviction.”
The mistrial is largely blamed on the credibility of Kimani Washington, Edward’s cousin. The 36-year-old admitted to participating in the robbery that led up to the killings, but said he left before the shooting began. The defense made Kimani out to be the true murderer in the case and said he was implicating innocent men to avoid murder charges himself since he had received a deal from prosecutors to serve 16 to 18 years in prison for his role in the robbery in exchange for his testimony.
On Monday the jurors had reached a verdict on 10 counts against the men, but were stuck on nine others, with one juror struggling with “reasonable doubt.” Judge Christine McEvoy urged them to continue but on Wednesday they were still deadlocked. When the jurors were no further along on Thursday the judge said she couldn’t force them to continue.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino sympathized with the victims’ families in a statement and assured them that the fight won’t end here.
“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,” he said adding that he had no doubt that police and prosecutors “will not be deterred in their search for justice for these families.”
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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