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Judge denies motion to reveal source in column on Mattapan killings

A Suffolk Superior Court judge denied a motion to ­require disclosure of the confidential source behind a Globe column about a sidebar conversation in the case of Dwayne Moore, the alleged gunman in the 2010 Mattapan killings whose prosecution ended in a hung jury.

The column, published in March, the day after a jury deadlocked 11 to 1 on the charges against Moore in the quadruple homicide, described how the judge in the case was told that a lone juror had planned to be a “holdout” in the case before deliberations began.

The columnist, Brian ­McGrory, attributed the details to “a person briefed” on the proceedings. The sidebar conversation was meant to be heard only by defense attorneys, prosecutors, and court officers.

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Moore’s lawyer, John ­Amabile, argued that the leaked information painted a misleading picture that the jury would have convicted Moore except for a “wayward juror who had engaged in misconduct.”

“This poisons the jury pool leading up to a new trial and substantially impedes the defendant’s constitutional right to a new trial,” Amabile argued.

But Judge Jeffrey Locke said the revelation that a single juror was responsible for the acquittal was widely reported.

“I don’t see anything in the column that differentiates it from all the other news stories,” Locke said. Locke noted that the column went on to describe how the juror denied saying she had planned to be a holdout and told the judge she could follow jury instructions regarding reasonable doubt.

A separate Globe story ­published the same day as ­McGrory’s column quoted a ­juror who said the lone holdout had said she planned to vote for acquittal.

Locke denied Amabile’s ­motion for a hearing to determine the source behind the story.

Amabile, however, accused prosecutors of leaking “inaccurate” information to deflect attention from their failure to convict Moore, 34, and a co­defendant, Edward Washington, 33, who was ­acquitted.

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Prosecutors rejected ­Amabile’s contention that their office was the source behind the column. “There’s no reason to think the Commonwealth would do that,” said Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin.

McGrory, who has not revealed the identity of his source, declined to comment Thursday.


Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.