The night of the 2010 killings in Mattapan, Dwayne Moore said he called his friend, a young drug dealer, to score some marijuana. The friend, 21-year-old Simba Martin, told him to come over and pick it up. When Moore arrived, he said, the door to Martin’s apartment was ajar.
“I hear yelling,” Moore told police during an interview nearly two months after the quadruple killings on Woolson Street in Mattapan that left a 2-year-old boy dead. Someone began to curse.
“I started walking fast,” Moore said, “back to the street where I came. . . . I hear shots.”
About four hours later, at 6 a.m., he said, someone called him at home and told him to turn on the news.
The excerpt from the videotaped interview was played in a Suffolk courtroom Tuesday during Moore’s second trial on murder charges. The viewing was the first public airing of Moore’s version of events during the early morning hours of Sept. 28, when five people were marched up Woolson Street, then shot, following a robbery for cash and drugs.
Moore at times rambled, and often seemed nervous, as detectives peppered him with questions during the more than 60 minutes of tape played by Suffolk prosecutor Edmond Zabin on Tuesday.
Moore was interviewed twice by homicide detectives, once on Oct. 7, less than two weeks after the killings, and again on Nov. 22, for a total of 10 hours. In other portions of the interview, which was not played for the jury Wednesday, Moore adamantly proclaims his innocence, at times begging detectives to believe him.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges he killed Martin; his girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend, who slept on a couch that night. Marcus Hurd, 34, was shot in the back of the head but survived, though the injury left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Both Moore and Edward Washington, 33, were charged with the killings and tried last March. Washington was acquitted, but the jury deadlocked on Moore, who is now facing a retrial.
The tapes, which were introduced during testimony from lead investigator Sergeant Detective John Brown, were not played during the first trial. Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, declined to say why.
“I can’t comment on trial strategy,” Wark said.
Zabin played only a couple of minutes of the Oct. 7 interview, when Moore initially denied he was at the scene that night.
“If I was there, me, as an innocent bystander, I would be dead,” Moore said, raising his voice and waving his arms emphatically as detectives coolly looked on. “I’m telling you right now, I was not at that address.”
But on Nov. 22, Moore told detectives he was at the scene. That account, however, contradicted Kimani Washington, the prosecution’s key witness, who has accused Moore of initiating the robbery, calling Martin to lure him out of his apartment, then shooting the victims. Kimani Washington, who testified against Moore in exchange for a lighter sentence of 16 to 18 years, said he, Moore, and Edward Washington robbed Martin at gunpoint. Kimani Washington said he stole Hurd’s gray sport utility vehicle and left well before the shootings began.
During the interview, Moore downplayed his relationship with Kimani Washington.
“I don’t know the dude like that,” he said. “I met this dude one time.”
That was contradicted when Zabin paused the tape to ask Brown how many times Moore called Kimani Washington during the night leading up to the shootings, the morning of the killings, and the following day.
Twenty times, Brown replied. Kimani Washington called Moore’s cellphone nine times during the same period.
Both sides have tried to bolster their cases with new evidence during the retrial.
Last week, Moore’s lawyer, John Amabile, tried to undercut Kimani Washington’s testimony with a witness who used to live on Wildwood Street. The witness, 45-year-old Ralph Myrthyl, who now lives in Florida, said he heard the gunshots, then went outside and saw a gray sport utility vehicle screeching away from the scene. Two other witnesses are expected to give similar testimony.