Edward Washington, 31, of Boston, Massachusetts, was arraigned this morning in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court in connection with the September 28th quadruple Murder in Mattapan that claimed the lives of four people, which included a 2 year old child.
Washington was formally arraigned and charged with four counts of First Degree Murder, Armed Assault with Intent to Murder, Armed Robbery, Home Invasion, and Gun Charges.
At Washington's arraignment this morning, Suffolk County prosecutors alleged that Washington conspired with Dwayne Moore and his cousin, Kimani Washington, to jointly rob the victims at 23 Sutton Street. As written in the Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog on 12/09/10, the suspects allegedly knew that the victim who was initially targeted, Simba Martin, ran a drug business from his Mattapan home and had a stash of drugs and money there. The prosecutor expressed the belief that Washington supplied the guns used the home invasion and murders, but did not reveal, however, whom they believed was the person who actually pulled the trigger that resulted in the four victims being murdered.
A fifth shooting victim, Marcus Hurd, who happened to arrive at the Mattapan home to purportedly buy drugs, was also shot but still remains hospitalized and in critical condition.
Following his arraignment on Murder Charges this morning, Edward Washington remains held without bail.
How Can Prosecutors Obtain a Conviction if They Don't Know Who Pulled the Trigger?
Despite apparently not knowing which of the persons charged with Murder actually pulled the trigger, Suffolk County prosecutors will likely proceed on what is called a Joint Venture Theory.
When someone is charged as a 'Joint Venturer', a person can be found guilty of a crime even if he did not personally commit the act; but rather, 'aided and abetted' in the commission of the crime with other persons.
In a 'Joint Venture', a criminal defendant may be found guilty if he is found to have intentionally participated with another int he commission of a crime as something he wished to bring about, and by his actions, intended to make it succeed.
When the prosecutor seeks to prove his case through a 'Joint Venture Theory', he must prove:
- That the defendant was present at the scene of the crime;
- That the defendant had knowledge that another person intended to commit the crime and shared that person's intent; and
- That the defendant aided or assisted in the commission of the crime, or that by agreement, was willing and available to assist the other person in carrying out that crime if necessary.
Therefore, when this case goes to trial, prosecutors will not necessarily have to prove who, specifically, pulled the trigger. Rather, they will simply have to prove that each of the defendants were there; they all shared the intent to commit the murders; and all assisted in the commission of the crimes in some way.
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