The mother of murder victim Jaivon Blake said her son would be “forever missed’’ as the two men convicted of killing the 16-year-old were sentenced Monday in Suffolk Superior Court to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Diane Simmons provided Superior Court Judge Christine Roach with a written victim impact statement during the sentencing for Sheldon Mattis and Nyasani Watt, both 20, who were convicted last month of murdering Blake and seriously wounding a 14-year-old friend of Blake’s.
According to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office, Blake and his friend were innocents who were attacked Sept. 25, 2011, by members of a street gang intent on sending a message to rivals.
“We would like to say that we are very happy with the charges found on both men; it brings some closure to the family,” Simmons wrote in her statement, which was read aloud in the Boston courthouse, according to Conley’s office. “We will always miss Jaivon. We will always miss his smile, the way Jaivon touched so many of his family and friends’ lives with his loving, caring, and devoted ways, and he will be forever missed.”
One of Blake’s younger brothers also provided a written victim impact statement. “My brother was really a great kid, really one of those people who actually cares when somebody is going through something,” he wrote, according to Conley’s office.
“I wish he could have lived his life and watched his younger brothers and nephews grow up.”
The double shooting unfolded in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of the city’s Dorchester section. During 2010 and 2011, three boys and at least one man were targeted in that area by gang members trying to send a message to rivals. They were selected, police said, based solely on geography.
In Blake’s case, prosecutors said, Watt and Mattis went after the boys after the 14-year-old, in a casual conversation outside a Walgreens, told Mattis he lived on Everton Street. Mattis then left to find Watt and helped him conceal a .40-caliber pistol.
Prosecutors said Mattis patted Watt on the back just before Watt took off on his bike down Geneva Avenue to find the boys.
Mattis and Watt were also convicted of armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition. Roach sentenced the men to concurrent prison terms for those crimes.
The convictions of both men will be automatically reviewed by the Supreme Judicial Court.
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