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Man held in deaths of four in Mattapan

Local leaders hail arrest of alleged triggerman

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By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / November 23, 2010

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Police believe they have arrested the man responsible for one of the worst multiple homicides in Boston’s history, in which four people, including a toddler, were shot to death in Mattapan in late September.

Dwayne Moore, 33, of Mattapan, was charged with four counts of murder, one count of assault with intent to murder, and a host of supporting counts. Authorities say he pulled the trigger Sept. 28 on Woolson Street, killing Levaughn A. Washum-Garrison, 22; Simba Martin, 21; Eyanna Flonory, 21; and her 2-year-old son, Amani Smith, in a long-troubled section of Mattapan.

Moore also allegedly shot and critically injured a fifth man, Marcus Hurd, 32. Moore will be arraigned today in Dorchester District Court.

In a brief statement, the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley called the crime “atrocious.’’ Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley, declined to comment further on the arrest because the investigation is ongoing.

The killings echoed loudly in the city and added an exclamation mark to a year already rife with drug violence and gang crime. The victims were found in various states of undress and had been shot several times.

Flonory, who was shot in the head, was found clutching her son, who had gunshot wounds to his chest and arm.

Delorise Flonory, the grandmother and adoptive mother of Eyanna Flonory, said last night that she welcomed the news of the arrest.

“It’s a relief to find that out,’’ she said. “But it’s not going to bring my daughter and my [great-]grandson back, and it’s not going to bring the other kids back that they killed.

“We have to make sure we know who we’re dealing with and that they have the right people.’’

Councilor Charles C. Yancey, who represents Mattapan and parts of Dorchester, said, “I am pleased that there is some apparent progress in the investigation, and if, indeed, Mr. Moore is found guilty, I believe that there will be a collective sigh of relief in the city, particularly in the community of Mattapan.’’

Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office also praised the arrest.

“He is pleased that the investigation continues and is making progress,’’ said Dot Joyce, Menino’s press secretary.

Moore has a criminal record and was recently released after spending several years in state prison.

In 1996, Moore was convicted of manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of a Milton teenager at a house party in Mattapan the previous year, according to a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the situation who was speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue.

Moore, then 19, had challenged 17-year-old Keema Jarius Braxton to a fight, according to court records, but Braxton did not want to fight Moore, who outweighed him by 40 pounds.

Scared, Braxton pulled a knife to defend himself, but Moore wrestled the knife from him and fatally stabbed Braxton in the neck.

Chris Fallon, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Correction. said Moore was released in April from the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.

Latoya Green of Mattapan said she has known Moore since they were young.

“He’s had a rough life,’’ Green said. “He has no family here, and from what I know, he was living on the street.’’

Green said they were friends years ago, but she distanced herself from him when they grew older. Green said she last spoke to him in July, shortly after his release, when he reached out to her, looking for affordable housing.

In a brief interview, she said she was surprised to hear of the accusations.

“That’s too bad,’’ she said.

Police have long suspected a drug connection to the killings.

In October, another man with a criminal record was arrested in connection with this crime. The arrest of convicted drug dealer Kimani Washington in New Hampshire was the first break in the case. Washington is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and marijuana, and one count of receiving a stolen motor vehicle. But while he is believed to be connected to the case, Washington was not charged with the actual killings.

The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, cofounder of the Boston Tenpoint Coalition, praised the arrest last night, but said the Mattapan shootings and the triple-fatal fight in Jamaica Plain on Sunday highlight larger problems in the city. The arrest “is a first step in the process of bringing some healing to an unbelievable tragedy,’’ he said, “but as important is the fact that the black community has to focus upon the cultural and behavioral sources of this kind of violence.’’

Travis Andersen, Andrew Ryan, and Lisa Wangsness of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Stewart Bishop and Vivian Ho contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at jguilfoil@globe.com.