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Victim was not a witness, DA says

Conley corrects mayor's comments

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said yesterday that a 30-year-old woman shot to death in Dorchester was not a witness in an upcoming murder trial, countering a televised statement by Mayor Thomas M. Menino that the victim was targeted because she witnessed a homicide.

Danielle Grady was shot multiple times as she sat in the back of a friend's Mazda early Saturday near her home on Dunkeld Street, police said. Her killer fled down an alley toward Fayston Street. No arrest had been made by last night.

Conley said police are looking into possible motives for her shooting but are certain she was not a witness in a murder trial, as published reports stated Sunday and as Menino reiterated.

"We're always working very, very hard to get witnesses to cooperate with us at trial, and a number of citizens out there who may be willing to testify are very fearful already," Conley said by telephone yesterday. "It's important that they're reassured that Danielle was not murdered because she was a witness in an upcoming homicide trial."

Grady's boyfriend, Jeffrey Jones, 41, of Mattapan had been fatally shot in similar fashion last month on Shandon Road in Dorchester, but friends said Grady had not witnessed it.

A friend who witnessed Grady's shooting said Grady had never spoken of cooperating with police about the July 12 killing of Jones, who was slain in a car along with a Roxbury man, Jarrid Campbell, 27. Police have not made any arrests in the double homicide.

"What she told us was she didn't know anything," said the friend, whose name is being withheld because she witnessed Grady's slaying. "She didn't see anybody or anyone."

Menino told New England Cable News Sunday that Grady had witnessed a homicide.

"Trial was going forward, and she got shot down in cold blood eight times," he said during the interview.

Menino declined to say yesterday who had given him the information, but acknowledged it did not come from police and said he did not know why Grady was shot.

"That was the information that I had," he said. "Different individuals gave it to me, . . . pretty good sources."

Conley said he spoke with Menino yesterday about his comments and said the mayor was grateful to be corrected.

"I think we had a good discussion as well about why it's important for us not to comment on evidentiary developments in an investigation," Conley said.

Menino said yesterday that police and city officials should focus on arresting Grady's killer.

"We can debate all the issues, but how we come to justice for her and some closure, that's the toughest part," he said. "Justice is what we're looking for."

Grady is one of five people killed in Boston since Thursday.

Boston police confirmed the identities yesterday of some of the victims, including Grady. About 2:44 a.m. on Friday, Porsche Hubbard, 18, of Boston was pronounced dead at Blue Hill Avenue and Callender Street in Dorchester, where the car she was in crashed into a tree after it was chased by a sport utility vehicle. It might have been an act of domestic violence or road rage, authorities said.

Damien Perry, 28, of Roxbury was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center on Saturday, shortly after he was found shot on Woodbine Street in Roxbury.

Walter Nash, 52, of Mattapan, was fatally stabbed about 11:24 p.m. on Saturday on Itasca Street in Mattapan.

Police have made arrests in two of the homicides.

Globe correspondent Daniel M. Peleschuk contributed to this report. Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com.

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