The daughter of a Maine woman shot to death in a Dorchester truck storage lot told her mother’s killer that he had ruined her life and her family during an emotional victim impact statement in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday.
“There’s a piece of me missing, which cannot be replaced, no matter what,” said Monica Field, 14, at the sentencing of Amos “Ace” Don who received life in prison without parole for the 2009 murder of her mother. He sat calmly as Field spoke.
“While most teens will have their mothers to help them with big decisions like prom plans, wedding day, and choosing a husband, my mother will not be there for any of that, thanks to Mr. Don.”
Don, 27, of Boston, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder for the killing of Erica Field, 29; he was also convicted of armed assault with intent to murder and firearms offenses for shooting Field’s boyfriend, Shameek “JoJo” Garcia, once in the head during the event.
Don shot Field and Garcia after a third person stole a large amount of heroin from him in Lewiston, Maine, where the victims were from, according to court documents. Garcia acknowledged selling drugs for Don, but Field was not involved, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office.
Garcia, a slight man with a long scar curving across the side of his head, also offered a victim impact statement Wednesday. Garcia spent eight weeks in the hospital after the shooting, much of it in a coma, and doctors had to remove part of his skull and brain during several surgeries, Wark said.
“There’s not enough time to really express the true depth of damage that was done to the families,” Garcia said. “It’s been 3½ years, and I’m still figuring out how much damage has been done.”
Garcia spoke haltingly and sat quietly for several moments before saying he was through. As he walked from the stand, with a pained expression, he pressed his hand to his chest.
On Aug. 25, Garcia and Field drove with Don to Dorchester, ostensibly to buy $6,000 worth of drugs, according to court documents. Don directed the victims to a truck storage lot off Norwell Street, where he shot them both in the head from the back seat of the car they were driving, according to court documents.
When police arrived and asked Garcia who shot him, he said “Ace.”
During the investigation, said Wark, the heroin thief was identified: It was not Garcia.
“This shooting of two people from behind in a car wasn’t out of passion or any kind of heat,” Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said during sentencing. “It was ice-cold. It was essentially making two lives part of the calculation, part of the cost-benefit analysis of a business decision.”
Don is currently serving a 76-month sentence for a federal gun conviction, which is set to end in early 2015. Judge Christine McEvoy set his life sentence to begin after the federal sentence ends; she also sentenced him to shorter concurrent terms for his other convictions.
Don appeared upbeat, smiling and waving as he walked into court.
Don’s attorney, Stephen J. Weymouth, said in an interview after sentencing that he did not know why Don was so cheerful, calling him “incredibly immature.”
Weymouth said someone else could have pulled the trigger.
“I’ll say this — he’s pleaded not guilty, pleaded not guilty from day one, today told me he didn’t do it, so as far as I know, he didn’t do it,” Weymouth said. “I wasn’t there.”
First-degree murder convictions are automatically reviewed by the Supreme Judicial Court.
Field’s father, James, also spoke Wednesday about a life marked by tragedy. His son, he said, had been killed in an automobile accident in 1997; the birth of Erica’s daughter saved the family.
He showed family photographs to the court: in one shot, taken during a camping trip, Erica beams, the moon shining over her shoulder.
“Look at that tremendous smile, always smiling,” said James Field. “She always saw the positive in people, never the negative. That was her life.”
Monica Field said in her statement that she was so close with her mother that they shared a special ability to know when something bad was happening with each other. The night her mother was killed, she said, she cried the whole night before she went to bed, convinced that her mother would never come home.
“It was a horrible feeling I had inside and to this day I cannot describe it,” she said. “Sure enough, the next morning, my family was all at my house and my [grandmother] woke me up and told me my mother was dead. Everyone was crying, I thought it was a joke, a dream, something besides reality. But no, it was reality.”
As she finished her victim impact statement, Monica Field began crying, and looked for the first time straight at Don. She stared coldly at him as she left the stand.