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Mattapan witness says he survived by playing dead

Naked but for his socks, Marcus Hurd obeyed the orders of the tall, thin gunman.

Hurd walked to Woolson Street with four others, including a mother and her 2-year-old boy, who had been with him in a Mattapan home while three gunmen stole cash and drugs.

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The tall man told him to stop and lie face down in the bushes. “I figured the robbery was over, that they wanted us to count to 30 or 60 and then get up after they left,’’ Hurd said.

Instead, the gunman shot him in the head.

Hurd, the sole survivor of the Sept. 28, 2010, shootings, testified Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court, corroborating much of the testimony from the key prosecution witness, whose credibility has been under attack by the defense.

In a chilling account, Hurd recalled how he had gone to a house on Sutton Street, about a block from Woolson, to buy a bag of marijuana from his friend, Simba Martin.

But ambushed by gunmen, he was left paralyzed from the shoulders down and is now in a witness protection program.

Yesterday, Hurd, 33, entered the hushed courtroom strapped to a wheelchair, a sight that moved some in the gallery to tears.

“I’m on constant medication,’’ said Hurd, a slender man who wore glasses and spoke slowly and so softly that at times he was inaudible.

“I’m in pain 24-7,’’ he said.

Dwayne Moore, 34, and Edward Washington, 32, are charged with the attempted murder of Hurd and the killing of Martin, 21; his girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend, who slept on a couch that night.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Hurd was unable to identify who shot him that night and did not seem to recognize Washington and Moore, who sat less than 10 feet from him at the defense table.

On the night of the crime, Hurd said, the faces of two of the three assailants were obscured by hooded shirts.

He said he believed they were also wearing masks, but was not sure.

The third assailant, Hurd said, was bald and heavyset, a description that matches Kimani Washington, a 36-year-old career criminal who became the prosecution’s key witness.

Hurd said that he was sitting in a rented sport utility vehicle with Martin, making small talk, when he saw the bald man in the rearview mirror. The man walked past the vehicle, then turned around and pointed the gun at Martin.

Almost immediately, two other gunmen appeared, Hurd said. The three men “as a group’’ ordered him and Martin to strip, he said, and go inside the apartment.

There, Hurd said, he was ordered to lie down in a corner of the room and stare at the wall.

At one point, he said, he saw the heavyset man carry something large out of the house. A safe and television were taken during the robbery, according to earlier testimony.

Hurd corroborated Kimani Washington’s statement that right after the robbery, he told the victims he was from the Columbia Point neighborhood in Dorchester.

At some point, the two remaining gunmen ordered everyone outside, Hurd said.

He no longer saw the heavyset man, Hurd said, supporting one of the most crucial statements by Kimani Washington, who testified that he left before the shootings began.

During the walk, Hurd said, a car driving about 25 miles an hour on Woolson Street passed the four victims and the two gunmen. The car did not stop.

After he was shot, Hurd said, he remained conscious and could hear gunshots around him. He pretended to be dead.

“If I would have moved or started saying anything, he would have shot me again,’’ he said.

Then, he heard a car drive away.

Soon after, the police arrived.

“I said, ‘I’m here in the bushes,’ ’’ Hurd said. Officers asked him to come out.

“ ‘I can’t,’ ’’ he recalled saying. “ ‘I can’t move.’ ’’

It was not until he was in the hospital that he learned the four others had all been killed.

Under cross-examination, defense lawyers tried to underscore differences between Hurd’s testimony and that of Kimani Washington.

For example, Kimani Washington said the two defendants took the safe and the television, while he remained with the victims.

Also, Kimani Washington said he was the one to order the men to strip and was then joined by Moore.

Edward Washington initially stayed behind in the getaway car, Kimani Washington had testified.

But yesterday, Hurd said he was certain all three men accosted him at the same time.

“I remember that clearly,’ Hurd said.

Hurd also said that none of the victims seemed to recognize their assailants, a detail that could help Moore, who other witnesses have said often hung out with Martin and regularly stayed at his apartment.

Hurd acknowledged that in the months following the shooting, his memory was poor and he was often delusional, even during initial police interviews.

But he said that since January, details of that night have become clearer.

Hurd, who has a record of gun and drug charges, acknowledged that he was “no angel’’ and described what happened to him as a consequence of “living in the streets.’’

“I live by the code; I die by the code,’’ Hurd said, echoing what has become almost a theme among some witnesses. “You’re supposed to take what happens, whatever comes your way.’’

Hurd’s sister - Eunika Hardy, who watched him take the stand yesterday - said her brother’s testimony honored the four other victims.

“This is justice being done, so the other people’s lives, their spirits, can be free, they can rest in peace,’’ she said. “I think he did all right.’’

Brian Ballou of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com.
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