Man believed tied to Mattapan case faces N.H. hearing

Bishop John M. Borders III preached yesterday at Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, near the shooting site. He asked congregants to help police and pray for peace in Boston. Bishop John M. Borders III preached yesterday at Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, near the shooting site. He asked congregants to help police and pray for peace in Boston. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
By David Abel and Shelley Murphy
Globe Staff / October 4, 2010

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They prayed for their families and sang about the grace of the fallen, urging everyone to take a stand against the horrific violence that last week cast another pall over the city.

Preachers from Mattapan to Roxbury called for justice yesterday as investigators continued to piece together a crime that left four people, including a toddler, dead on a city street and prosecutors sought to bring the man who has been linked to the shootings back to Massachusetts from New Hampshire.

Today, Kimani Washington, 35, of Dorchester, who was arrested Friday at a Manchester, N.H., apartment complex on a fugitive-from-justice warrant, will appear in Manchester District Court for a rendition hearing.

John Salsberg, the Boston lawyer representing Washington, said yesterday that “he unequivocally denies hurting anybody.’’

Washington has not been charged with the slayings and police will not say whether they believe he was the shooter.

Prosecutors will urge a judge to order Washington’s removal to Boston, where he faces two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and marijuana, and one count of receiving a stolen motor vehicle, which was taken from one of the victims.

Salsberg said he visited his client at the Hillsborough County jail yesterday, but declined to comment further.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said: “The investigation remains very active and we’re asking the public not to be complacent with this arrest and these charges. We still need every possible witness statement.’’

Investigators are proceeding “carefully and methodically,’’ Wark said.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he spent part of yesterday walking through Mattapan, talking to residents and reassuring them that authorities are working hard to solve the brutal slayings.

“Hoodlums are not going to take over our neighborhoods,’’ Menino said. “We are going to be out there every step of the way.’’

During a fiery sermon yesterday morning at Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, near the shooting site, Bishop John M. Borders III asked, “How long will justice be crucified and truth buried?

“There may be a few more funerals that we will have, but it won’t be long until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a fiery stream.’’

With Governor Deval Patrick in attendance, Borders implored his congregants to help police and pray every day for the rest of the year for peace in Boston.

“We don’t need to be hiding on the corner,’’ he said. “We need to be in the neighborhood.’’

Police have identified the victims in Tuesday’s shootings on Woolson Street as 21-year-old Eyanna Flonory; her 2-year-old son, Amanihotep Smith; Simba Martin, Flonory’s 21-year-old boyfriend; and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22. A funeral service will be held at Morning Star on Wednesday morning for Flonory and her son.

The fifth victim, Marcus Hurd, 32, who was shot in the back of the head, according to his family, remained hospitalized in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

At Timothy Baptist Church in Roxbury, which will hold a funeral service for Martin tomorrow, congregants hugged and sang about the loss.

“You will bless the family, give them what they need,’’ the congregants sang.

Patricia Washum-Bennett, Washum-Garrison’s mother, said she won’t go to today’s hearing in New Hampshire, but she plans to be at Washington’s arraignment when he is returned to Boston.

“I’m just glad they arrested the guy,’’ she said in a phone interview. “I’m going to be patient and see how this plays out.’’

She said the death of her son — one of her four children — has been hard on the family. She said her sister, Sadie Washum, 45, of Atlanta died yesterday, which she attributes to the grief her sister felt over her son’s death.

“She didn’t take the news well at all,’’ she said.

Washum-Bennett described her son as “a great, great kid.’’

“He would always make people laugh and always had a story to tell,’’ she said. “But boys will be boys, and he was just trying to find himself, and we all go through what we go through to reach maturity.’’

She said that more than anything now, she wants answers. “But the only answers I want are from him and the people who were there that night,’’ she said. “If I had one wish on earth, it would be to take that day back.’’

She said she has delayed her son’s funeral until Oct. 11, so family can fly in from Atlanta, Jamaica, and Canada. The funeral will be held in Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan.

“All I can say is that this is such a tragedy,’’ she said. “No one deserves to die the way they died, and no family deserves to grieve the way we’re grieving.’’

Law enforcement authorities will not say whether there was more than one shooter or whether they are searching for additional suspects.

After the shootings, before he lost consciousness, Hurd told police that he had gone to the Mattapan neighborhood to buy marijuana and that whoever shot him had taken his rental car, a Ford Edge sport utility vehicle, according to officials.

Later that morning, police spotted the vehicle on the corner of Warren Street and Blue Hill Avenue and questioned Washington, who was spotted nearby, police said. Washington was questioned by detectives, but released because of insufficient evidence. After developing additional evidence, police searched Washington’s home on Fowler Street and seized two weapons, ammunition, and drugs, police said.

A tip led police and deputy US marshals to Manchester, where Washington was arrested Friday at the apartment of a friend.

At today’s hearing, Washington may fight rendition by contending he’s not the same person who is wanted in Massachusetts, according to Wark. He will have to appear in court in Boston to contest the charges. If he agrees to waive rendition, he is expected to be brought to Boston quickly.

“We’ve been in touch with New Hampshire authorities with the intention of bringing him back to Massachusetts as rapidly as possible,’’ Wark said.

David Abel can be reached at; Shelley Murphy can be reached at

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