Before a judge ordered Dwayne Moore to spend the rest of his life in prison, the mother of one of his victims took the stand to describe her life without her son. When she finished, Patricia Washum-Bennett walked past Moore, who sat slumped at the defense table, and stared hard at the condemned man.
He looked at her briefly, then quickly looked down, she recalled, a stark contrast to two months ago, when she testified about her slain son, Levaughn Washum-Garrison. Then, Washum-Bennett said, Moore’s eyes bored into her.
“He was trying to intimidate me,” she said.
On Tuesday, she and other relatives of the four people killed on a Mattapan street in September, 2010, faced Moore, who was convicted Monday of killing Simba Martin, 21; his girlfriend Eyanna Flonory, 21; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; and Washum-Garrison, 22. Moore was acquitted of three charges, including possession of a firearm and the attempted murder of Marcus Hurd, who was shot in the back of the head but survived.
Washum-Garrison had been sleeping on Martin’s couch that night, when prosecutors said three men stormed his Sutton Street home to steal $1,800 in cash and crack cocaine from Martin, a drug dealer.
“Eighteen hundred dollars,” Washum-Bennett said after the sentencing, recalling her remarks in court. “That’s $360 for each person shot. I paid more than that to have him, to give birth to him, to raise him. Really? That’s what you took him for?”
The remarks given by family members, known as victim impact statements, were supposed to be made directly to Judge Jeffrey Locke. But the anger was pointed at Moore, who was dressed in a dark suit, his face inscrutable.
“I hope the brutal and savage way you killed Eyanna and Amani haunts you for the rest of your life,’’ said Angela Davis, Flonory’s aunt.
“You’ve taken away a father, a brother, a son, and an uncle,” Martin’s sister, Shanekwa Marsh, said. “He was a great person.”
Locke ordered Moore to serve concurrent life sentences for the murders of Martin and Washum-Garrison and consecutive life sentences for the murders of Flonory and her child. Moore has already spent half his life behind bars. When he was 18, he was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter for stabbing a teenager at a Milton party. At the time, he claimed self-defense. He had only been out of prison four months when he was arrested in 2010.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, as Locke characterized the brutality of the Mattapan killings, he referenced the killing of 20 children last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Those lives are no more innocent than was Amanihotep Smith, a 2-year-old with a future, and that future snuffed for absolutely no reason other than the pure brutality of this crime,” Locke said.
Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin had asked that Moore be sentenced to five consecutive life sentences, citing the horror of that night, when the victims were marched up Woolson Street, then shot.
“Each crime was terrible,” Zabin said. “They were shocking.”
But Moore’s defense attorney, John Amabile, said the jury essentially “exonerated” his client of premeditated murder and rejected the notion that Moore had plans to kill and carried out the execution himself.
When the jury acquitted Moore of unlawful firearm possession, Amabile said, jurors rejected the prosecution’s argument that Moore fired the gun that took four lives and injured Hurd.
“They’ve said Dwayne Moore didn’t shoot and kill anybody,” Amabile said.
He called the prosecution’s request for five consecutive life sentences “a grandstanding play that is an attempt to cover up the fact that they were ... hustled by the person who actually committed the murders in this case.”
That person was Kimani Washington, Amabile said, a 37-year-old career criminal who struck a deal with prosecutors to testify against Moore in exchange for a recommendation of a 16- to 18-year sentence on armed robbery charges.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley scoffed at Amabile’s characterization of the jury’s verdict.
“The idea that [Moore] was exonerated doesn’t hold water,” Conley said.
He said authorities still believe Washington’s account that he participated in the robbery, but left the scene before the murders occurred.
“We don’t get hustled,” Conley said. “We would never have entered into a cooperation agreement if we thought [Washington] was the executioner.”
Conley said that Washington would pay a “heavy and dear” price for his role.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Amabile urged the families to make the same impact statements at Kimani Washington’s sentencing, which has not been scheduled.
Washum-Bennett said she agreed with Amabile that Washington deserved a stronger punishment than what he negotiated with prosecutors.
“He needs to be in prison for the rest of his life,” she said.
Though most jurors declined to comment, two jurors told the Globe Tuesday that the panel voted to convict Moore under the legal theory of joint venture, which holds a defendant equally responsible for a murder even if they do not shoot the victims, but are a full participant in the crime leading to the deaths.
The five men and seven women on the jury were picked from Worcester County after Amabile successfully argued that news coverage of the case would make it difficult to find an impartial jury in the Boston area.
“I just want to put this thing behind me,” said juror James C. Webber. “I want to get on with my life.”
Moore remained calm during his sentencing and hugged his lawyer. But his mother, Diann, who had asked the media not to take pictures of her because of safety concerns, lashed out at a Boston Herald photographer who snapped photos of her leaving the courtroom. She struck the photographer with an umbrella and was dragged away by court officers. She was arrested on assault charges and released on her personal recognizance.
The Supreme Judicial Court, the state’s highest, will automatically review Moore’s trial.Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Brian Ballou can be reached at email@example.com