The last time Kimani Washington took the stand, it was before a packed courtroom of victims’ relatives, observers, and reporters eager to hear the testimony of one of the men who plotted an armed robbery that led to the killings of four people, including a 2-year-old boy.
On Wednesday — in the fifth day of testimony in the retrial of Dwayne Moore, who is charged with the slayings — Washington, a key witness for the prosecution, faced a smaller, more subdued crowd, most of whom had already heard his chilling account of that night in 2010.
They listened quietly as the prosecution and defense employed essentially the same strategies as in the first trial.
Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin, Washington, now 37, portrayed himself as a flawed man who robbed drug dealers and lied to police but was horrified that the planned robbery on Sept. 28, 2010, led to the shooting death of a young child and his mother.
Moore’s lawyer, John Amabile, wanted the jury to see Washington as a womanizer, liar, and opportunist, whose word they should doubt.
Washington has agreed to testify against Moore in exchange for a lighter recommended sentence of 16 to 18 years on armed robbery charges. He has admitted he participated in the armed home invasion in Mattapan but claims he left before the victims were marched down Woolson Street and executed.
Wearing a striped button-down shirt and tie in court Wednesday, Washington spoke in a low voice, answering “yes, sir” to Zabin’s questions.
His testimony was nearly the same as in the previous trial, which ended with an acquittal for Edward Washington, 33, Kimani Washington’s cousin and Moore’s codefendant. The jury deadlocked 11 to 1 against Moore on the murder charges. They acquitted him of drug trafficking.
Moore, 35, is still charged with home invasion and the killings of Simba Martin, 21; his girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend who slept on a couch at Martin’s Sutton Street house that night.
A fifth man, Marcus Hurd, who came to the house that night to buy marijuana from Martin, was shot in the back of the head but survived.
Kimani Washington said he went to the apartment with Moore and Edward Washington for a robbery. After stealing crack cocaine, a safe, and money, Kimani Washington said he left in Hurd’s Ford Edge and returned to his Fowler Street apartment, where he waited for his cousin and Moore.
When they arrived, Washington said he asked them what took so long.
Moore allegedly replied, “We had to go back.”
“‘For what?’” Washington said.
“‘To go kill everybody,’” Moore replied, according to Washington.
Washington said he was “flabbergasted” but then asked Moore what had happened with the drugs and money they had stolen. The three men split the $1,800 they took from the robbery.
Police caught up with Washington later that morning when they found him in Grove Hall, standing near the stolen Ford Edge. They told him about the child’s death, took him in for questioning, then let him go, without testing him for gunshot residue, a point Amabile brought up during cross-examination.
Later that morning, Washington said he met again with Moore and asked him about the killings.
“‘Tell me you didn’t shoot that girl and the baby,’” Washington said he asked.
“‘I didn’t mean to kill the baby,’” was Moore’s alleged reply.
During cross-examination, Amabile played a tape of the first police interview with Washington.
In the 30-minute interview, Washington lied smoothly, telling police the Ford Edge belonged to his friend Jaywan, a man he described as light-skinned and bald. He even told police where they could find him, at the Franklin Field projects.
He and Jaywan were in Grove Hall to pick up women, Washington told police, using a more derogatory term. Moore said he was with Jaywan “because he got the car, and I got the money.”
One of the detectives seemed to express doubt about Washington’s story when he was unable to give them Jaywan’s last name.
“Check this out,” Washington told them. “See if I lie.”