Dennis L. Jones says his sudden outburst in Suffolk Superior Court last week, calling a key prosecution witness a “rat’’ and a “snitch’’ during the Mattapan quadruple murder trial, has been “taken out of context’’ by prosecutors.
“Those are some of the names he is known by,’’ Jones said yesterday while awaiting arraignment in Boston Municipal Court on charges of witness intimidation and disrupting a courtroom. “He was testifying about all his aliases, and I just added those names to his list.’’
Jones, 45, of Dorchester, said he is a cousin of one of the victims, Eyanna Flonory, and was not attempting to undermine the case against two men charged with the killings by interrupting the testimony of Kimani Washington.
Jones said he was in the courtroom Feb. 22 to support the families of all the victims. After he cursed at Washington, he was removed by court officers as jurors, victims’ relatives, and reporters watched.
“I’m subject to respond to emotion just like every human being,’’ he said. “That’s what happened. Listening to the whole thing brought it back up.’’
But authorities say Jones’s intentions were clear.
“This is a man who disrupted and intimidated a witness in a very, very serious quadruple homicide trial,’’ said Julie Higgins, assistant Suffolk district attorney. “. . . His actions placed in risk the integrity of that proceeding.’’
Jones, who has a seven-page criminal history that lists 18 convictions including the robbery of an elderly person, was ordered held without bail on an earlier violation of an abuse prevention order out of West Roxbury Court. He was being held on $20,000 cash bail on the intimidation and disruption charges stemming from his Feb. 22 outburst.
Because of his extensive record, prosecutors are seeking to have Jones tried as a habitual offender, a designation that would enhance penalties.
Dwayne Moore and Edward Washington are on trial, accused of murder in the slayings of Flonory; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; Flonory’s boyfriend, Simba Martin; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison. The victims were found near Woolson and Wildwood Streets.
Kimani Washington, a 36-year-old career criminal who is Edward Washington’s cousin, testified last week that he helped to plan and stage the robbery that preceded the slaying. But he also testified that he left before the killings began.
As Jones was arraigned yesterday, the trial he disrupted continued with more testimony from police witnesses.
There continued to be little physical evidence connecting Moore and Edward Washington to the scene. A criminalist at the Police Department testified that the only fingerprints found on one of the weapons, a .40-caliber Iberia, belonged to Charles Washington, the cousin of Edward Washington.
His print was also on the safe taken from Simba Martin’s home. But fingerprints matching the two defendants were not found.
Sergeant Detective Brian Albert, who supervises the Boston police fugitive unit, described Moore’s demeanor a few days after the killings, when Albert asked if he would come to headquarters to speak with homicide detectives about an “incident.’’
Albert said he did not say what that incident was, but according to his testimony, Moore suddenly appeared nervous and began sweating profusely.
“His hands started shaking uncontrollably,’’ Albert testified. “His eyes became really wide. I thought he was having a medical issue, and I asked him if he wanted an ambulance.’’
Albert had approached Moore at the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter where Moore was working as a cook.
Albert said Moore left willingly, but when he walked outside with the officer, he turned to him and said, “Are you going to shoot me?’’
During cross-examination, Albert said five armed officers had gone inside to find Moore, while four or five police cars and more officers waited outside.
Moore’s lawyer, John Amabile, asked if a heavy police presence would not cause most people to get nervous, a question that sparked an objection from Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin.Brian Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maria Cramer can be reached at email@example.com.