It may take awhile for felony prosecutions to come, but, usually, when the police painstakingly take their time in their investigation, suspects emerge. This is being played out in Boston’s Suffolk Superior Court. Kimani Washington, 35 (hereinafter the “Defendant”), has been arrested in connection with the quadruple homicide in Mattapan in September. He was charged with various charges, including armed robbery, armed carjacking, trafficking cocaine, and being an armed career criminal.
He has pleaded “Not Guilty” and was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail after arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court.
Interestingly, the Defendant was not charged in the actual murders, although the prosecutors allege that he was a mastermind behind the armed home invasion that precipitated the deadly shootings.
Apparently, during the investigation into the murders, police found over 28 grams of crack cocaine allegedly taken during the robbery, as well as two guns. They say that these were found in a location where the Defendant often stayed. The Commonwealth also claims that one of these firearms were fired during the multiple homicide.
The Defendant is not the only one charged in the case. Another man has been actually charged with the murders and are expected in Suffolk Superior Court shortly. Further, another gentleman was arraigned previously arraigned on murder charges and held without bail.
Prosecutors allege that the Defendant and one of his alleged co-perpetrators knew each other from mandatory visits to prison, and that they hatched a plan to rob the location of the homicides of drugs and cash. On the morning of September 28th, the burglary was carried out according to authorities.
The Commonwealth further claims that the Defendant left the house after the robbery, which is when the executions were carried out. Later in the morning, the three men met again to divide the proceeds from the robbery.
I have handled several gun and murder cases over the past 25+ years as attorney in the criminal justice trenches. While there are nuances in every case, fact scenarios generally fall into a few common patterns. This does not mean, however, that the Commonwealth treats them all the same.
In many cases, the Commonwealth would be charging the Defendant with Murder In The First Degree along with his alleged cohorts.
“How, Sam? He left before the shooting ever took place according to the allegations.”
First of all, we do not know how the Commonwealth came to that conclusion. I will come back to why that may be important in a moment.
Understand that, whenever possible, the Commonwealth charges people they believe are acting together as being a conspiracy or, at least, a joint venture. Under either of these theories, each person is responsible for what the other(s) do during the course of whatever was planned.
Even if something foreseeable, if not planned, took place. For example, two guys rob a store and, as leaving, one of them turns and shoots the store owner. The shooting was foreseeable, so both would normally be charged. The applicable law does allow for someone to withdraw from a conspiracy or joint venture, but it requires a good amount of announcements by the “withdrawer” to qualify.
Further, there is apparently evidence that the group met up again after the killing. It would seem, therefore, that the joint enterprise was still in existence at that time.
I find it interesting that this Defendant is being arraigned all on his lonesome and is not charged with the killing. Also, unless there was a video camera going at the scene of the crime, how does the prosecution know who planned what when and who left when? The victims, of course, are dead. Math is not my strong point, but it seems to me that this just leaves the Defendant and company who would be able to tell the Commonwealth these things.
Could it be that the Defendant is now a Commonwealth witness in exchange for not being charged with murder? Obviously, I don’t know. I will tell you, though, that, as a trial attorney, particularly one in criminal practice, I have developed a well-toned a strong case of “professional paranoia”.
It helps. A lot.
Might I suggest that if you find yourself suddenly facing down the barrel of a criminal charge, you look for an experienced criminal defense attorney with that occupational disease? If you want to contact me to discuss such a situation, please feel to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.
To view the original story, and charming photograph about which parts of this blog were based, please go to : http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/01/man_held_on_hig.html