A Boston man has been sentenced to four consecutive life sentences in the killings of four people in a drug-related robbery in Mattapan.
Dwayne Moore was convicted Monday of killing four people, including a 2-year-old boy in his mother's arms, during a drug-related robbery that shocked the city two years ago.
Following impact statements from the families of the victims, Judge Jeffrey Locke handed down the sentences Tuesday morning.
Before sentencing, Moore's attorney John Amabile characterized Moore as someone who, as a teenager, was put in prison alongside adults and who was being given the full brunt of a sentence he claimed should be shared among others who were accused of participating in the robbery but were never convicted.
"I have become familiar with the evidence in this case and one thing was abundantly clear: It's that when Mr. Moore was released from an earlier sentence sometime in the spring of 2010 he was under the guiding and watchful eye of the Commonwealth, of its parole authorities. He was participating in programming, in treatment, in attempting to find him employment or a vocation or a future that would permit him to lead a productive life," said Locke. "Mr. Moore made choices...participating in a plan to go into a what was viewed as a drug den and rob it consistent with some code of the streets."
Before being led away from the courtroom Moore shook Amabile's hand as Amabile pulled him in for an embrace.
It was the second trial for Moore, who shook his head as the verdict was read in Suffolk Superior Court on Monday. His first trial in March ended with a hung jury, and a second suspect was acquitted.
Moore was charged with killing 2-year-old Amani Smith; his 21-year-old mother Eyanna Flonory; Flonory's boyfriend, 21-year-old Simba Martin; and 22-year-old Levaughn Washum-Garrison. A fifth man, Marcus Hurd, was left paralyzed. Some of the victims were apparently dragged into the street naked before being shot.
Prosecutors asked that Moore be sentenced to consecutive life sentences for each of the four first-degree murder convictions.
Moore was also convicted of single counts of home invasion and armed robbery but was acquitted of three other charges.
Moore's defense attorney said he will appeal the verdict.
During the trial, Hurd testified he went to Martin's house in the Mattapan neighborhood the night of the shootings to buy marijuana and was shot after being ordered outside. At the first trial, Hurd said he pretended to be dead and did not see his attacker. At the second trial he said he did see the assailant but he was not asked to identify that person.
Amabile described the prosecution's star witness, Kimani Washington, as a "snake oil salesman" who himself committed the crimes. Washington admitted participating in the robbery, but said he left before the shootings. Prosecutors acknowledged Washington was a career criminal but said other evidence supported his testimony. He made a plea deal for a 16- to 18-year sentence.
Prosecutor Edmond Zabin said Moore was a cold-blooded killer who told an associate not long after the Sept. 28, 2010, killings that he had done the shooting.
It was Boston's deadliest single crime since 2005, when four young men - including three members of a rap group - were fatally shot in a makeshift basement recording studio in Dorchester. The lack of convictions in March led to an outburst of emotional criticism from the Mattapan victims' families and friends.
"I'm just happy. I hope everybody else is happy," Washum-Garrison's mother, Patricia Washum-Garrison, told The Boston Globe as she left court on Monday. "Now they can rest."
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he hopes the verdict will give comfort to the victims' families, friends and neighbors that "justice has been served."
The jury was brought from Worcester because of concerns about pretrial publicity in Boston. Deliberations began Dec. 4, and were restarted twice last week with alternates after two jurors were separately dismissed.
On Monday, jurors again appeared close to a deadlock. They sent a note to Judge Jeffrey Locke shortly before noon saying one juror wasn't convinced prosecutors had proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
They also received special instructions from Locke on Monday to disregard the Connecticut school slayings. Moore's lawyer had expressed concern they might influenced since a young child was a victim in their case.