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New account questioned in Mattapan trial

Marcus Hurd

Ted Fitzgerald/The Boston Herald-Pool

Marcus Hurd took the witness stand in the retrial of Dwayne Moore Monday.

Marcus Hurd, the sole survivor of the 2010 attack in Mattapan that killed four people, including a 2-year-old child, gave a detailed account Monday of the slayings and sparred with a defense attorney during a heated cross-
examination. But he did not testify that he recognized defendant Dwayne Moore as the shooter respon­sible for the massacre.

Hurd was the last witness called by Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin in Suffolk ­Superior Court, where Moore is on trial for the second time on four counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 28, 2010, killings on Woolson Street.

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The defense then called several witnesses whose testimony took less than 40 minutes. Moore did not take the stand. Closing arguments are expected to begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Moore, 35, is charged with home invasion and the killings of Simba Martin, 21; Martin’s girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend, who slept on a couch at Martin’s Sutton Street house that night. Moore has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Hurd was also shot in the back of the head during the incident, leaving him paralyzed. He testified Monday while sitting in a wheelchair.

During the first trial, Hurd did not identify Moore, saying he could not see any of the men’s faces. But after the jury deadlocked and a new trial was ordered, Hurd dropped a potential bombshell, telling police that his memory had improved and that he recognized Moore as the man who had shot him.

Neither Zabin nor defense ­attorney John Amabile asked Hurd about his improved memory when he took the stand Monday, even though the issue was the subject of heated hearings before Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke earlier this year.

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Hurd said during a hearing that he had not been forthcoming with authorities before ­because he lived by the “code of the streets.”

“You get labeled a snitch or a rat in your neighborhood, and you’re dog meat,” he said.

Hurd said his conscience got the best of him after the first ­trial, in which codefendant ­Edward Washington was acquitted of first-degree murder charges.

Amabile argued during the hearing that Hurd’s alleged identification of Moore was flawed and should not be ­allowed in the new trial, but Locke ruled that the prosecution could bring it up at its discretion.

According to legal specialists and psychologists previously ­interviewed by the Globe, allow­ing Hurd to testify to such a different account during the trial would have been risky for both sides and potentially could have damaged Hurd’s credibility with the jury.

The second trial, which has lasted five weeks, has included testimony from Boston police officers, EMS personnel, neighbors, and relatives of those who were killed.

Another key prosecution witness was Kimani Washington, who said he was part of the robbery plot that led to the slayings but left before the shooting began.

On the stand Monday, Hurd described how a routine visit to his friend, Martin, to buy marijuana suddenly went wrong. Hurd testified that he was sitting in a rented Ford with ­Martin when a man armed with a gun walked past, turned around, and ordered them both out of the vehicle.

Two other gunmen then ­ordered Hurd and Martin to strip off their clothes and then return to Martin’s home on ­Sutton Street.

Hurd described two of the gunmen, telling jurors that “one was short, stocky, the other was a tall, slim young man, about 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3.” Prosecutors allege the taller man was Moore.

After the robbery, the gunmen ordered Hurd and the others to leave the house and walk to neighboring Woolson Street, Hurd testified. Hurd said he was ordered to lie on the ground and was shot in the back of the head by the tall gunman and was later able to call to police officers for help, but has not walked since that day.

Hurd jousted with Amabile, who frequently tried to highlight what the defense contends are inconsistencies in Hurd’s account of the crime. For example, Hurd had testified in the first trial that the two gunmen were “probably” wearing ski masks. Monday he testified that one wore a ski mask and the other, the taller man, wore a hooded sweatshirt.

“Do you expect me to remember everything from two years ago? Do you remember what you did two years ago?” Hurd fired back at Amabile. “You’re trying to sabotage my character now because I’m coming true now. Is that what you’re trying to do?’’

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.

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