A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Friday convicted a Dedham man of killing a man in a hail of bullets outside a Mattapan barbershop while the victim’s 4-year-old son was getting a haircut inside.
Jurors found William Shakespeare, 30, guilty of first-degree murder for the June 2016 slaying of Marcus Hall outside Hair It Is barbershop on Blue Hill Avenue, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.
“This was a day long awaited by Mr. Hall’s loved ones,” Conley said in a statement. “The grief and trauma to his family and community lingers even now, but I hope they can take some satisfaction knowing that justice was done. The verdict speaks for itself — this was a cold-blooded and vicious shooting in broad daylight, and the jury clearly saw it as such.”
Shakespeare’s lawyer, James Greenberg, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment after the verdict. Shakespeare faces a mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole when he is sentenced on Monday morning. He was also convicted of unlawfully carrying the murder weapon.
Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Catherine Ham told jurors during her opening statement last week that Shakespeare shot Hall, 31, five times outside the barbershop on June 14, 2016, around 12:20 p.m., following a verbal confrontation the two had inside the establishment.
“Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” Ham told the jury, mimicking the sound of gunfire and pounding her fist in her palm.
She did not indicate what the men argued about but said video surveillance captured a “face-to-face confrontation” that was “not a friendly bumping of the fist.”
Greenberg, though, urged jurors during his opening to watch the footage closely and “decide whether this is an argument, or whether they’re conversing.”
Ham insisted there was hostility, telling jurors Hall and Shakespeare later argued loudly outside the shop, reentered separately, and were captured a second time on video standing “shoulder to shoulder” by the back door before they both exited and the shots rang out.
The video footage didn’t capture the shooting, but Ham said it did appear to show Hall lunging toward Shakespeare before trying to get back into the shop. Hall was pulled outside, Ham said, and surveillance footage captured a “glimmer of a shirt” that was “consistent with” the red shirt Shakespeare wore that day.
After the shooting, Ham said, the camera captured the feet of two eyewitnesses slowly walking away from the murder scene. One witness, she said, was later identified as Mark Edwards, a man with dreadlocks who was in the barbershop about five minutes before the shooting and who wore sunglasses, chains, and a reddish-black shirt.
Edwards left the scene but presented himself to police a couple days later and testified before a grand jury, Ham said. She informed jurors that Edwards, 22, was murdered about a year after Hall’s killing. No one has been charged in Edwards’ death, which remains under investigation.
Greenberg tried to implicate Edwards in Hall’s death, telling jurors that Edwards entered the shop through the back door shortly before the shooting and stared at Hall, who looked at Edwards before walking toward Shakespeare and following his client outside.
Greenberg said the video footage not only suggests that Hall tried to get back in the shop after seeing someone armed with a gun, but that Shakespeare tried to reenter for the same reason.
“You can draw an inference from what you see,” Greenberg said.
But jurors ultimately convicted Shakespeare, who was described by Ham as a regular at the barbershop who never went back after the killing. The Boston Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit arrested him in the Bronx in January 2017.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.