After nearly a month of testimony from 48 witnesses and more than 200 pieces of evidence, a murder case that has been called one of the worst in the city’s recent history is expected to go to the jury Tuesday.
The 15 jurors, three of whom will be randomly picked as alternates, will probably start deliberating at the end of the day following closing arguments. Closings by the prosecution and the lawyers representing the two defendants are expected to take three hours.
The September 2010 shootings took the lives of four people, including a mother and her 2-year-old son.
Both sides rested Monday following the last day of testimony in Suffolk Superior Court, during which the defense called its only witnesses - three people who heard the gunshots that night and who were initially on a prosecution witness list. The defendants, Dwayne Moore and Edward Washington, did not testify.
The defense witnesses were called to contradict key details from the star prosecution witness in the case, a 36-year-old career criminal whose credibility has been attacked by the defense.
All three of the witnesses had lived near the crime scene on Woolson Street, where the four victims were gunned down following an armed home invasion and robbery for cash and drugs.
Two of the witnesses said they heard gunshots, then saw what looked like a gray or silver sport utility vehicle speeding from the scene. That testimony conflicted with statements by prosecution witness Kimani Washington, who said he participated in the robberies, stole the gray Ford Edge driven by one of the victims, and left before the shootings began.
Fitzgerald Allen, who lived on Hosmer Street, said he heard shots, and looked out his window. He said he then saw a gray or silver SUV with the doors of the passenger and driver’s side open at the corner of Woolson and Wildwood streets.
Allen said he saw a “big’’ person fire a gun, then jump into the driver’s side and speed the wrong way down Wildwood Street.
The SUV disappeared, then came back again, speeding toward Blue Hill Avenue.
The next witness, Ralph Elas, said he was walking down Blue Hill Avenue when he heard shots, then saw a gray or silver SUV hurtle down Woolson Street toward him.
Elas, who had been crossing Blue Hill Avenue, said he remembered he jumped back. In the driver’s seat, he saw a “buff, bald’’ man, a description that fits Kimani Washington.
“You were afraid he might shoot you, right?’’ asked John Amabile, Moore’s lawyer.
“Yes,’’ Elas replied.
Under cross-examination by Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin, Elas said that the SUV appeared to have a dent in it. The car stolen by Kimani Washington was not damaged.
Under cross-examination, Allen said he initially told police that the car may have been a sedan - the prosecution has said that the getaway car was a silver BMW driven by Edward Washington.
But Edward Washington’s lawyer, John Cunha, pressed Allen, asking him if he believed it was an SUV.
“What I’m saying is it could have been an SUV. I wasn’t sure,’’ Allen said. It was “a big-bodied vehicle.’’
The third witness, Margarette Joseph, was less cooperative.
She insisted she could not recall what kind of car she saw that night, even though defense lawyers pressed her on a report police took from her shortly after the shootings. In the report, the defense noted, she had told police that from her second-floor home, she could see the top of a gray or silver SUV.
When Amabile continued to ask her about the car, Joseph glared at him.
“I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday,’’ she said.
Cunha asked her if she simply did not want to give testimony that could help the defendants.
Joseph fired back: “Sir, let me explain. If I’m sitting here, I’m not helping anybody.’’Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org