First he told police he was at home on Sept. 28, 2010, when two men, a 21-year-old woman, and her 2-year-old son were marched up a Mattapan street and shot to death. Then, under withering interrogation, Dwayne Moore changed his story, telling Boston police detectives that he had been at the scene, but fled, and heard the shots from afar.
Moore, the 35-year-old charged in one of the worst killings in the city’s recent history, was inconsistent about his whereabouts that night during two interviews in the weeks following the murders. But in the 10 hours that he sat with two Boston homicide detectives, he was adamant about his innocence, at times begging police to believe him. At one point, he sank to the floor, sobbing.
“I have not killed anybody,” Moore pleaded. “This isn’t happening to me. This is sick and tired. . . . I’m just tired. And scared to death, man.”
When he was left alone in the interview room, with the video and audio recording equipment still rolling, he spoke to one of the victims, 21-year-old Simba Martin, whom he called a friend.
“I wish, Sim, I wish you was alive,” he said. “You could tell these dudes, man. You could [expletive] tell these dudes, man. If you could tell these dudes, you could tell them not to play with you. You can tell them.”
The statements, found in 28 pages of transcripts filed in Suffolk Superior Court, offer a glimpse into Moore’s state of mind as police questioned him. Suffolk prosecutors, who did not provide the jury with the statements in Moore’s trial last March, have said they intend to use parts of his statements in the second trial, which is expected to begin Tuesday .
The first trial resulted in a hung jury for Moore and acquittal for his codefendant, Edward Washington, 33. They were charged with home invasion and the killings of Martin, 21; his girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory; her son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend who slept on a couch at Martin’s Sutton Street house that night.
Jurors in the new trial may also hear revised testimony from the sole survivor of the shootings, Marcus Hurd, 34, who was left paralyzed by a shot to the back of the head. In the first trial, he said he could not see the man who shot him, but he has since told police that it was Moore. Judge Jeffrey Locke ruled Tuesday that Hurd’s new identification of Moore will be allowed at the trial and that it will be up to the jury to decide on its credibility.
Moore’s lawyer, John Amabile, who had asked that Hurd’s revised testimony not be heard by a jury, also asked Judge Christine McEvoy in the first trial to suppress Moore’s interview with police, arguing that Moore’s statements were coerced through “trickery and deceit.”
McEvoy disagreed, saying that the officers generally focused on phone records, which put Moore in the vicinity of the shooting and showed he called Martin minutes before the shooting. Police were courteous, offered him food and water, and informed him of his Miranda rights, she said.
“The defendant made the statements freely and voluntarily,” McEvoy wrote.
Jake Wark, spokesman for District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, declined to say why prosecutors did not use the statements in the first trial.
Amabile also declined to comment. According to court documents, he intends to call an interrogation expert to the stand.
The transcripts of police interviews that were contained in the case file do not represent a complete picture of both interviews, which resulted in hundreds of pages. But several key statements emerge in the available 28 pages.
During the first interview on Oct. 7, 2010, Moore told detectives that he was “nowhere near around that area.”
Six weeks later, on Nov. 22, the day he was arrested, police interviewed him again and this time, Moore told them he had been on the porch of the house on Sutton Street, where the home invasion took place before the killings. From inside, he heard the voices of three men and then left, “walking fast as I could down Sutton, back to where I came.”
It was on his way home that he heard the shots, he said.
When police asked him for a DNA swab, he appeared eager to provide it and told police that the guns recovered in the killings would show he had not fired them. No DNA or fingerprint evidence implicating Moore was presented at the first trial.
Moore, who served 15 years in prison for manslaughter, had been free for only six months when police arrested him in the homicides. Those six months were “a taste of freedom,” he said. “I need to live, yo,” Moore said. “My life was screwed up from the beginning, yo. . . . I’ve been praying anyways, because I’m not happy with life.”
When police told him he was under arrest, he shouted and cried as they reached for his wrists. “Just kill me!” he screamed at them.
It took at least half a dozen officers to handcuff him.
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