As a jury began deliberating Dwayne Moore’s fate Wednesday in the Mattapan massacre case, the defendant’s mother painted a dramatically different image of the accused killer than the one presented by prosecutors during the five-week trial.
Moments after briefly speaking with her son as he was being led out of Suffolk Superior Court, Diann Moore said he wanted desperately to talk with the family of Simba Martin, one of four people he is charged with slaying in cold blood Sept. 28, 2010, on Woolson Street.
Moore, who called Martin a friend in taped interviews with police, wants to express his condolences to Martin’s family and assure them he had nothing to do with the killings, Diann Moore said in an interview outside the courtroom, moments after Judge Jeffrey Locke ended his two-hour jury instructions and handed the case to jurors. They deliberated for two hours, then went home.
“My son told me his heart sank when they played the video from the autopsies during the trial,” Moore said. “He couldn’t bear to look at the screen, seeing that child and the other victims and his friend Simba.”
Moore said she visited her son in jail Tuesday night, and they prayed. She said she is optimistic he will be acquitted and believes that his lawyer, John Amabile, presented a stronger defense in this trial than was presented in the first trial.
A jury deadlocked on the charges against Moore in that trial, which ended in March.
“I know my son is innocent, so now I just pray that the truth will come out,” she said. “The prosecutor is causing a lot of pain for the victim’s family.”
Prosecutor Edmond Zabin has described Moore as a cold-blooded killer, a man who admitted to an associate shortly after the slayings that he had shot not only three adults but also a 2-year-old boy nestled in his mother’s arms.
Moore, 35, is charged with killing Martin, 21; his girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory; her son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend, who had slept on a couch at Martin’s Sutton Street house that night.
A fifth man, Marcus Hurd, who came to the house that night to buy marijuana from Martin, was shot in the back of the head but survived.
Diann Moore said her son had been working at Pine Street Inn, training to become a cook, and was slated to start a job as a youth worker the day he was arrested.
“He had been focusing on doing those things, and that’s not the description of a criminal,” she said.
“He was on that right path, versus an individual who lives by crime, who robs and uses females,” Moore said, referring to Kimani Washington, who has admitted to going to Sutton Street to rob Martin but said he left before the killings.
Washington accepted a plea agreement to avoid more prison time and testified for the prosecution in Moore’s earlier trial, as well as in the trial of Edward Washington, Kimani Washington’s cousin, who was acquitted on murder charges.
Amabile asserted in his closing arguments Tuesday that Kimani Washington was the person who committed the murders.
Jurors in the first trial deliberated for seven days. The jury for Moore’s retrial was selected from a pool of Worcester County residents, after Amabile successfully argued that the publicity following the slayings and the first trial would prevent his client from getting an impartial jury locally.
Diann Moore, who has been attending the trial each day, said Wednesday that she would not return to the courthouse because she fears for her safety. She cited the emotions that boiled over after the jury did not convict the two defendants in March.
“I’m not coming back,” she said.