When his friend told him he knew a drug dealer they could rob for cash and cocaine, Kimani Washington said, he was in.
Robbing drug dealers was a way of life, the key witness testified yesterday in the 2010 killing of a toddler and three adults on a Mattapan street.
“They played the same game that I played,’’ Washington said. “That was the only way we were going to make our living.’’
But when his friend, Dwayne Moore, told him that after the robbery he had shot everyone, including the 2-year-old son of one of the victims, Washington said, he wanted to find a gun “to kill him.’’
The highly anticipated testimony of Washington, a 36-year-old career criminal with a string of assault and drug arrests, began yesterday, the second day of testimony in the trial of Edward Washington, Kimani’s cousin, and Moore, 34, who are accused of the killings, among the worst in the city in a decade.
Kimani Washington spoke for 2 1/2 hours about the events that he said led to the killings. He spoke before a courtroom packed with reporters and relatives of the victims. At one point, he glared at Moore, who stared back and shook his head.
Kimani Washington acknowledged that in exchange for his testimony, he had agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. If a judge agrees, he would be sentenced to 16 to 18 years in prison for his role in the robbery, but would not be charged with murder.
Lawyers for the defendants have said Kimani Washington is lying to save himself.
Under direct examination by Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Edmond Zabin, Kimani Washington matter-of-factly testified to his ability to get a “hammer’’ (a gun), how he downed liquor and smoked pot in the hours before the crime, and of his appetite for stealing.
According to his testimony, he and Moore hatched the plan to rob somebody in summer 2010.
Moore, who had met Kimani Washington in jail, had been complaining of how hard it was to make money. Kimani Washington agreed.
On Sept. 27, 2010, the day before the shooting, Kimani Washington said, he heard again from Moore.
“He said he had a lick . . . somebody that we could rob,’’ he said.
Kimani Washington said he could get the guns.
That day, they met at Kimani Washington’s family home on Fowler Street, where Edward Washington was also hanging out, according to the testimony.
There had been friction between the cousins. Earlier that summer, Kimani Washington said, they had fought on their way home from a club, and he had beaten his cousin badly.
Edward Washington’s lawyer, John Cunha, has said the two cousins hate each other.
But Kimani Washington said yesterday that they had “patched things up.’’
He testified that, with Edward Washington behind the wheel of his brother’s vehicle and Moore giving directions, the three men headed to Simba Martin’s Sutton Street home.
Moore carried a semiautomatic weapon supplied by Edward Washington, and Kimani Washington had his 9mm handgun.
When they arrived, Kimani Washington said, he and Moore hid on a porch near Martin’s house. Moore, Washington said, “began to make calls to the guy’’ they planned to rob.
At that point, Kimani Washington said, he saw a heavyset man, later identified as Martin, come out of the house and get into a sport utility vehicle.
Kimani Washington said he approached the car, where Marcus Hurd, the sole survivor of the attack, sat at the wheel. Martin was in the passenger seat.
Kimani Washington pointed his gun at the men and ordered them out of the car and told them to strip.
“ ‘Man, I’m only here to buy some weed,’ ’’ Hurd said, according to Kimani Washington.
“Just keep cool and you’ll be all right,’’ was his reply.
Moore rushed to the car and pointed his gun at Martin’s head, Washington testified. The four men went inside, where they found Levaughn Washum-Garrison sleeping on the couch. Edward Washington entered the house later, according to testimony.
During the robbery, Eyanna Flonory, wearing pajamas, walked down the stairs with her son, Amanihotep Smith.
“I was shocked,’’ Kimani Washington said. He ordered Flonory to the ground and told her to look at him. “Ain’t nothing going to happen to you,’’ he said he told her.
Kimani Washington said Edward Washington and Moore left the apartment, and he assumed the robbery was over. The thieves had found a safe containing drugs, a large flat-screen television, and $1,800.
Before he left, Kimani Washington said, he told the victims where he grew up.
“I’m Columbia Point,’’ he said. “If you want to retaliate or look for someone, they could look for me.’’
When Zabin asked why he would do that, Washington said it was the “fair’’ thing to do.
Once outside, Kimani Washington said, he did not see his accomplices on the street and he took off in Hurd’s SUV.
According to the testimony, the men reunited at Kimani Washington’s family home, where they split the cash, $600 each. Moore allegedly confessed to Kimani Washington that after he left, Moore and Edward Washington returned to the apartment and Moore shot “everybody.’’
Kimani Washington said he “dismissed’’ the confession.
He said he later learned of the child’s death from police, who questioned him after they found him hours later in Grove Hall, standing near the stolen SUV.
Later that morning, Kimani Washington said, he confronted Moore about the shooting:
“Dwayne, did you shoot the kid, man?’’
“He said it just like this: ‘No, I didn’t shoot the baby,’ ’’ Kimani Washington said. “ ‘I shot the girl. And the way she was holding him, the baby must have gotten shot.’ ’’
Maria Cramer can be reached at MCramer@globe.com.