Star witness assailed in Mattapan murders

Defense contends Washington lied

Delphus Martin, the father of murder victim Simba Martin, listened to closing arguments during Dwayne Moore’s retrial Tuesday.
Delphus Martin, the father of murder victim Simba Martin, listened to closing arguments during Dwayne Moore’s retrial Tuesday.

A defense attorney Tuesday attacked the prosecution’s star witness in the Mattapan massacre case, calling him a “snake oil salesman” who had lied to save himself from a life sentence in prison.

But the prosecutor in the case said Kimani Washington’s testimony, along with the testimony of dozens of other witnesses, proved the case against Dwayne Moore beyond a reasonable doubt.

Moore, 35, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder stemming from the Sept. 28, 2010, shootings on Woolson Street in Mattapan. He is accused of killing 21-year-old Simba Martin; Martin’s girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory, 21; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22, Martin’s friend; and shooting Marcus Hurd, who survived.


Moore’s attorney pointed the finger at Washington for the brutal slayings, in a blistering attack of the witness who testified against Moore in exchange for a lighter sentence.

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“The likely fact is that Kimani Washington is the individual who took a weapon like this one and gunned everybody down,’’ said John Amabile during his 90-minute closing statement Tuesday, pointing to a firearm on a nearby table.

Prosecutor Edmond Zabin, in his hourlong closing argument, dismissed Amabile’s lambaste of Washington, describing it as a desperate attempt to deflect from the fact that Moore was the person who committed the killings after Washington had left the scene with the proceeds from a robbery.

“The evidence points in one direction, to the defendant, Dwayne Moore,” Zabin told the jurors. “It is not the time for speculation, not the time to surmise or for conjecture.”

The five-week trial involved 42 witnesses and 263 exhibits.


Stacks of binders, boxes, posterboards, and other evidence accumulated by investigators in the last two years covered a bench inside the courtroom.

This trial is the second for Moore — the first one ended in a hung jury in March, and with the acquittal of codefendant Edward Washington, Kimani Washington’s cousin.

“I hope that they find him guilty this time. It was a pretty good case, better than the first case,’’ said Delphus Martin, Simba Martin’s father, outside the courtroom moments after the trial ended for the day.

Martin had sat in the first row of the 9th-floor courtroom, about 15 feet behind Moore, during the closings.

Diann Moore, the defendant’s mother, sat at the edge of the second row, mostly resting her head on her hand during the closing arguments.


Afterward, she declined to comment, saying that she had not yet talked with her son to ask if she should speak on his behalf.

Her son, dressed in a navy-blue suit, blue shirt, and yellow tie, sat still and appeared to listen closely as his attorney and then Zabin spoke, their comments separated by a lunch recess.

Amabile spent most of his time attacking Kimani Washington’s credibility, and attempting to link him to the shooting.

“This case is built on the foundation called Kimani Washington, without accepting his testimony, you have no base for convicting Dwayne Moore,” Amabile said as he stood directly in front of the eight-man, six-woman jury, chosen from Worcester County residents after Amabile successfully argued that the publicity from the first trial would prevent his client from getting an impartial jury in Suffolk County.

“If he was a used-car salesman, he wouldn’t sell one car, this guy is a career criminal since he was a child,” Amabile said.

He went on to call Washington a “snake oil salesman,” a master manipulator who used Moore as a scapegoat.

But Zabin argued that Washington’s testimony is corroborated by evidence that links Moore to the shootings.

“Name calling and character assassination is not part of the process,” said Zabin.

Washington testified in both trials that he went with Moore and his cousin, Edward Washington, to Sutton Street to rob Martin, an alleged drug dealer.

He also testified that he participated in the robbery, but left before Moore and Edward Washington forced the four murder victims and Hurd to walk to Woolson Street where they were all shot.

Hurd, who was shot in the head, was left paralyzed. He testified during the first trial that he did not get a look at the gunman’s face, but in September, he told authorities that he recognized Moore as the man who shot him, after seeing Moore’s face on television. But Hurd’s alleged recollection of Moore never became part of the second trial.

“I want to suggest to you that Marcus Hurd is a tragic figure who makes no identification of Dwayne Moore,” Amabile said during his closing.

Zabin argued that the physical features described by Hurd — that the gunman was tall and slender — fits Moore “to a tee.”

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Wednesday.

Brian Ballou can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at GlobeBallou.