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Mattapan residents welcome guilty verdict

About an hour after the verdict came down, Woolson Street in Mattapan was quiet except for the occasional passerby and the handful of police officers posted near the scene of the September 2010 quadruple slayings.

Winston Jarvis, 54, a resident of the street for 15 years, hailed the news of the conviction of Dwayne Moore in the Mattapan massacre.

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“It’s a good verdict today,” Jarvis said in an interview on his front porch. “I think it’s long overdue. These guys — they deserve, I mean, life in prison or something. Because killing in general is bad, but women and children, ah, horrible.”

He added, “It’s just a good day, I guess, a good day for justice.”

Moore was convicted today in Suffolk Superior Court of four counts of first-degree murder, as well as home invasion, and armed robbery. He was acquitted of three other charges. Sentencing was set for Tuesday morning, but the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison with no chance for parole. Moore was convicted in the fatal shootings of two adults and a young mother and her 2-year-old child on Woolson Street.

Jarvis said he believed the testimony of Kimani Washington, the crucial but flawed witness for the prosecution who said he participated in a robbery with Moore but left before the shooting began, despite questions surrounding Washington’s credibility.

“I think he was credible,” Jarvis said.

He also reflected on some of the aspects of the crime. “A kid on the street, a woman naked, two guys naked,” Jarvis said. “I don’t know what went through those guys’ minds when they did it.”

Outside the apartment around the corner on Sutton Street that the victims were led from at gunpoint, a current resident, Sean Rose, 25, also said the verdict was the right one.

“I like it,” he said. “Everything’s going well. It looks like the city of Boston is really stepping up and handling the crime rate that’s going on out here. It’s getting a little crazy.”

He said friends and relatives of victim Simba Martin, who lived in the Sutton Street building, have come by to mark the anniversaries of the slayings.

“They are very respectful people,” Rose said. “They rang the doorbell and introduced themselves ... Very good people, they put out roses and flowers and stuff like that. And we left them out as long as the community allowed them to stay there.”

Rose said he moved into the Sutton Street apartment shortly after the killings, and that other residents have not forgotten that night.

“They remember, but it’s not really talked about too much,” he said.

Rose said he lived just blocks away on the night of the shootings.

“Tough,” he said. “That was a bad night.”

Lee Ashley, who has lived in the area for five years, said, “Yeah, I think justice has been served because last time it was acquittal and I didn’t like it, because I felt that somebody should’ve been held accountable.”

“There’s always been shootings and stuff around here, but that was the worst because four people were killed — and a baby.”

The fact that Moore faces life in prison without parole, the maximum allowable sentence under state law, did not sit well with several neighbors. The punishment, they said, was not adequate.

“There ought to be a better method, because it’s too many people running around doing things to people, and to go to jail is nothing,” Ashley said. “So if it was like public execution like it used to be, you would have a deterrent from those types of things. Somebody has to be held accountable.”

Judy Mumford, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years, said the massacre had left an indelible mark on the area.

“I feel like there should’ve been more done with him,” she said of Moore’s life sentence. Still, Mumford said, she considers the verdict just.

A man who asked to be identified only as “G,” citing safety concerns, said he was pleased with the verdict.

“If something more drastic could be done for [Moore] it would be nice. Like a hanging. Because who kills people like that? Especially babies.”

While the guilty verdict represented justice for many in the Woolson Street neighborhood, there still was an underlying concern about safety among some residents, including a woman who was removing a baby from the back seat of a car across the street from 40 Woolson.

“If he was the one that did it, then yes, justice has been served,” she said, declining to give her name. “I really don’t want to make a comment in that I live so close.”

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