By Tonia Magras
March 26, 2012
BOSTON — It’s now quiet and empty on Woolson Street in Mattapan. A lone candle on the sidewalk marks the crime. But in the eerie silence, a community is in pain with four people dead, another paralyzed for life and no one held accountable.
On March 23, a the jury in the quadruple-murder case came to a very unpopular conclusion: One defendant was entirely acquitted and the other faces a new trial after the jury deadlocked.
"I was left without words, rather shocked," said neighbor Ignus Thomas.
"It just seemed unfair, that in 2012 the system fails us again," said another neighbor. "The community, the system itself failed."
The Rev. Eugene Rivers said the Suffolk County District Attorney's office didn’t take enough time to make its case.
"At the time of the incident 2 years ago, when the first suspects were rounded up, there was the sense that this is a rush to judgment. The District Attorney's office rushed to make a case that completely collapsed,” he said.
Rivers thought that collapse began with making a thug the lead witness.
"You don’t grab one of the most sociopathic kind of individuals, who's a drug dealer and a pimp, and put him up as your major witness. That's not the smartest way, it seems to me, to make the case for the prosecution," he said.
State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry said the community won’t be happy until they get more answers.
"I think the community will rebound but when you hear a verdict like this no doubt there's frustration, there’s anger — people are trying to make sense as to what happened," she said.
Rivers said, "For this community this neighborhood that’s suffering, something tangible would have to be able to come out of this ... in terms of opportunities for the young people who feel trapped in that neighborhood …. Anything outside of that, you know, is business as usual and it is a pointless tragedy.”
One of those people is Mary, who did not want us using her last name. She lives on Woolson Street where the murders took place — and where her own son was gunned down 5 years ago.
After her son was killed, "I don’t got no justice — since now, they’ve told me nothing," Mary said. Now, in the newer case, "they killed four people, the little boy — 2 years old — now no justice again. That really hurt me. Really, really hurt me."
A hurt that's not likely to go away even if a new trial brings one conviction.
THE MATTAPAN VERDICT
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