Deaths of child, mother, and two other victims are described for Mattapan massacre jury
Amanihotep Smith, the youngest and smallest of the four Mattapan massacre victims, was struck by two bullets, one of which entered the right side of the two-year-old boy’s chest, piercing his lung, a pathologist testified today.
Smith bled to death, Dr. Peter Cummings told the Suffolk Superior Court jury who will decide whether two Boston men are guilty of murdering four people on a Mattapan street, including Smith and his mother, Eyanna Flonory.
The two men, Dwayne Moore and Edward Washington, both have pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and their defense attorneys have told jurors the wrong men are on trial.
Flonory’s final moments were also described to the jury by state Chief Medical Examiner Henry Nields, who displayed an autopsy photograph of her so graphic that some of her relatives fled the courtroom. Tears welled in the eyes of others who stayed.
Nields said Flonory was shot by someone who held the gun close to the back of the head. The bullet travelled through her skull before exiting her face.
“She died in a matter of seconds,’’ Nields said.
She also had gunshot wounds to the backs of both of her hands, but she was still clutching her son in her hands when Boston police arrived Sept. 28, 2010. Smith was struck by bullets passing through his mother’s hands.
Smith was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead around 5 a.m.
Nields told jurors about the deaths of the two other victims, Simba Martin, and his friend Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Martin’s friend who was sleeping on his couch that night. Key prosecution witness Kimani Washington has testified that he and the two other men targeted Martin because he was a drug dealer who was expected to have cash and drugs on hand.
As Martin’s relatives sobbed while a photograph of Martin’s corpse was shown to the jury, Nields said Martin was shot on the right side of his forehead, and the bullet then travelled through his nose and his lip. Martin was also shot in the left cheek and the right and left sides of his chest, Nields said.
Martin was likely shot while lying on the ground, the pathologist said, because the bullet fired into the right side of his head ricocheted off a hard surface before hitting Martin in the left cheek.
In all, Nields said, Martin had six gunshot wounds and likely died within a few minutes of being shot. He said Martin apparently held up his hands as he was being shot because one bullet struck his right palm.
Moving onto his autopsy of Washum-Garrison, Nields said Martin’s friend was shot in the upper right side of his chest, and that the bullet sliced through his heart. He died within minutes, the pathologist said.
The victim’s mother, Patricia Washum-Bennett, was in court, looking at the autopsy photographs of her son, her head slightly tilted.
Earlier today, Woolson Street resident James Jones described the horror he saw when he looked out his window after hearing “loud booms” echo through his Mattapan neighborhood.
Jones testified that he was sleeping in his second-floor bedroom when the sound of gunfire startled him out of his sleep. He said it sounded like “loud booms, like a cannon going off.”
Jones said he peeked through his louvered blinds and looked down to the street below. He said he saw a naked man lying in the street, and then saw a fully clothed man run up and position himself next to the naked man.
Pointing his right index finger to his temple, Jones said the fully clothed man “crouched over and fired’’ into the victim’s head.
Jones testified that he saw two men on the street that morning -- the fully clothed man with a bald or shiny head and a second man with shabby dreadlocks who got into the right front passenger seat of a car before it sped off the wrong way out of the neighborhood. The fully clothed man with the bald or shiny head ran away on foot, he said.
When police arrived, Jones looked down from his second-floor porch onto the street and saw a second gunshot victim lying behind some bushes, who has since been identified as the sole massacre survivor Marcus Hurd.
Jones said the man’s hand was “twitching a little bit’’ and that he heard police officers ask the bleeding man, “What happened?’’
Suffolk prosecutors did not rest their case today as was originally anticipated. The trial before Superior Court Judge Christine McEvoy resumes Monday.