Metro

Suspects ‘exchanged text messages’ before killing man, prosecutors say

Two men on trial for a brazen 2015 daylight murder in Jamaica Plain exchanged a series of text messages planning the execution of Kenny Lamour in the hours and minutes leading up to the fatal shooting, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Two men, Donte Henley, 26, of South Boston, and Josiah Zachery, 20, of Hyde Park, are charged with first degree murder in Lamour’s February 2015 death. They are on trial in Suffolk Superior Court before Judge Peter Lauriat.

Lamour, 21, was shot in the head at close range while taking a break from shoveling snow in Jamaica Plain as part of a work crew with the social service organization Roca. Prosecutors allege that Henley, who was also on the work crew that day, texted Zachery when he learned that someone affiliated with a rival gang was going to be shoveling snow alongside him. Zachery then allegedly took a bus and the Orange Line to find Lamour and kill him.

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At one point, as Zachery neared the work crew’s location, he again texted Henley, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said during his opening statement: “I see the van, can’t find y’all.”

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A few moments later, Zachery allegedly shot Lamour in the head, killing him as Henley continued shoveling snow nearby. Zachery allegedly ran from the scene, firing at a Boston Police officer as he fled.

Roca Inc., a nonprofit with a mission “to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young people transform their lives,” tries to keep gang rivals separated during its activities, Polumbaum said. The crew leader that day had received assurances from Henley that working on the same crew as Lamour would be no problem. But five minutes later, Polumbaum said, Henley reached out to Zachery, asking for his loyalty and help in killing Lamour.

James Budreau, a lawyer representing Henley, said prosecutors’ reading of the text messages with Zachery missed key context and tone and could be misconstrued. Robert Wheeler, representing Zachery, said nobody identified his client as the shooter, and testing later found no gun shot residue on his clothes, despite a powerful, large caliber semi-automatic handgun being used in the killing.

Also on Tuesday morning at the trial, an MIT math professor testified that he witnessed the shooting but could not identify the shooter.