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Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network.
To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 206-1942.

Posted On: October 5, 2010

Mattapan Ma Murder Suspect Charged With Guns, Drugs And Theft

Kimani W., the Dorchester gentleman whom the police have arrested in connection with the four murders in Mattapan (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is on his way to court. He will be charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, marijuana and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.

Not murder. And not Boston.

Yet.

The Defendant was found in Manchester, New Hampshire. “We will begin the extradition process as soon as possible,” said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

As you will recall, five people were found shot on Woolson Street in Mattapan a week ago. Four of the victims, including a 2-year-old toddler, died. A fifth victim is clinging to life in a Boston hospital.

"Today, while nothing can bring those lives back, [authorities] have made great progress in bringing those responsible to justice," Menino said. "Let this serve as a warning to all those who seek to harm others, use guns to settle their scores, and have not regard for life, our officers will not rest until you are hunted down, captured and locked up."

The police say that the Defendant, who has purportedly given officials different years for his birthdate, is 35 years old and has a long arrest record for larceny and assaulting women.

His most recent encounter with Boston police, before Friday's arrest, followed an incident on April 4th, when early that morning officers went to 150 Glenway St. in Dorchester after a woman alleged that the Defendant had slapped her face then ran off.

The woman told police that he had performed such domestic violence in the past.

Other such allegations have littered the Defendant’s history.

The Defendant had also acquired some degree of infamy with Comcast, where he is featured on the department's television police blotter on which features short programs that display the mugshots and charges of the city's "most wanted" fugitives.

In the one-minute long program, Boston Police spokesman James Kenneally described how on July 1, 2001, the Defendant cashed several business counterfeit checks made out to the City of Boston at several branches of an unnamed bank.

Security cameras captured him cashing the checks, Kenneally said.

An arrest warrant was issued for his arrest, police said.

On Sept. 6, 2008, he was arrested for several outstanding warrants including larceny and check forgery, Kenneally said.

Bald and stocky at 5 foot 6 and 190 pounds, the Defendant's mug shot was displayed on the television blotter. He was described as armed and dangerous in the program.

Apparently also socially minded, the Defendant had a Facebook page. On it, he is said to revel in the role of dangerous criminal.

Posing in front of a television, his bare chest draped with gold chains, he stares hard at the camera, his thumbs hooked into his pants pockets.

His posts, which read like rap lyrics, reveal a fascination with violence and life on the streets. They feature short rhymes and missives about the "clink," being wanted by police and loading a "Glock."

His most recent bit on September 20th said: "If u don't spot the vic(tim) in the first 30 seconds that means ur IT. If u don't hear the shots when the shells yell Sun that means ur HIT!"

He is set to return to Boston and be arraigned next Tuesday.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

The Defendant is an example of how one’s (alleged, in some cases) past deeds can catch up with and really make things difficult for one in the future.

Few people looking at this history are likely to give the Defendant the benefit of any doubt as he makes his way back to the Commonwealth.

For anything! He is not even charged with murder in this case yet, but how many people assume he will be? What leverage will therefore be used to get him to "give up" any other "co-conspirators" to the murders?

If I told you that the news just broke that he also was behind the bullying of Phoebe Prince and eats small children for breakfast, how many would actually consider that such stories might be true?

They are not, by the way.

However, look at the words on his Facebook site. How many of you read the words and the description of how he presented himself and nodded in satisfaction, almost saying aloud, “Sure….what do you expect?”

The fact is, however, they could be simply lyrics. Violent? No doubt. But such is what passes for music these days. That does not make violent killers out of all who enjoy or write the lyrics…which, by the way, includes some of our own kids!

It would appear that the Defendant has made many a criminal justice mistake in his past. Does this mean he is guilty as suspected in the instant case and will soon be facing murder charges?

Call me naïve, but the truth is, not really. However, as he returns to the Commonwealth next week he brings with him gifts a-plenty for the prosecution. There are almost endless arguments as to why he should not be released on reasonable bail…or allowed any bail whatsoever. His past also brings with him gifts that can be unwrapped in front of the jury at the trial of whatever charges he will face, the least of which being “consciousness of guilt” evidence,.

“Ok, Sam, we get it. Bad mistakes, not necessarily bad guy. Really screwed up. But, assuming that I don’t beat up women, steal things or eat little children….what does this have to do with me?”

It’s another reminder…albeit a dramatic one.

In today’s criminal justice system, you had best be careful what you do in life and how you handle problems. That includes how you express yourself. Because if the finger of accusation is pointed at you, such things as Facebook pages and not showing up to court are likely to come back to haunt you.

Maybe you think that would never happen to you, but that, if it did, you could simply explain the truth behind your actions and everyone would simply nod and understand.

Maybe the Defendant is simply a budding hip hop artist and he figures he can simply take the stand and explain that, as well as his lyrics as they appear on the net. But then again, what if his taking the stand at trial would mean that the prosecution could tell the jury all about his misadventures of the past?

Whoops…that could complicate matters, couldn’t it?

When in doubt, folks, consult an expert. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Do not throw all kinds of statements on the internet. Don’t run off and refuse to come to court. Don’t try to out talk the investigators or give a multitude of birthdates.

Should you wish to discuss a criminal case with me, please feel free to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.

For the original stories upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/10/man_arrested_in_16.html , http://www.npr.org/ and http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/10/arrest_made_in_13.html