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Triple-homicide case collapses

Key witnesses die, charges dropped

By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / September 27, 2011

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Charges against three Boston men accused in a grisly triple homicide were withdrawn yesterday because the case was weakened by the unrelated deaths of two key witnesses, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said.

Jemald Allen, 33, of Roxbury; his nephew, Roderick Allen, 26, of Mattapan; and Antoin Fields, 32, of Dorchester were indicted last year and charged with the Sept. 4, 2004, shooting deaths of Angelo Henderson, Jaison Jenkins, and Anthony Williams after a cookout at Franklin Field in Dorchester.

The case unraveled after two key witnesses died in what prosecutors called unrelated events. Prosecutors did not identify the witnesses, but said one died in a fight in Lewiston, Maine, and the other died of natural causes.

“Since then, prosecutors scrutinized the case to determine whether it would be possible to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt without the men’s testimony at trial, finally determining that the Commonwealth . . . would be unlikely to sustain its burden of proof at this time,’’ District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said in a statement.

Prosecutors are not barred from bringing charges again if more evidence is found, the statement noted.

In 2004, a Stratton Street cookout in the Franklin Hill development attended by children and families was sent into chaos when a man known to the suspects staggered into the gathering, shot in the face and shoulder.

Prosecutors alleged that the three suspects, outraged by the man’s shooting, went looking for revenge and shot and killed three men who were sitting in a minivan on Floyd Street.

Officials asked anyone with information on the slayings to contact the Boston police homicide unit at 617-343-4770 or text the word TIP to CRIME (27463).

John M. Guilfoil can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globe_guilfoil.