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Hunt continues in Mattapan slay probe Police at ‘critical stage’ in quad-slay case

Hunt continues in Mattapan slay probe
Police at ‘critical stage’ in quad-slay case

By O’Ryan Johnson and Marie Szaniszlo | Sunday, October 3, 2010 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Local Coverage

Photo by Jim Michaud

Police continue to hunt suspects in the quadruple Mattapan massacre, authorities said yesterday, less than 24 hours after the arrest of a Dorchester man with a long criminal history in connection with the case.
“We’ve reached a critical stage of the investigation. This arrest by no means reflects the end of our efforts,” said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
U.S. Marshal for Massachusetts John Gibbons urged Mattapan residents and other members of the public to aid police.
“Do not allow these criminals to take control of these neighborhoods,” Gibbons said.
Kimani Washington, 35, of Dorchester has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and receiving a stolen motor vehicle in connection with the shootings. He is not charged with murder.
U.S. Marshals and the Boston Police Department Fugitive Apprehension Team spent Friday in New Hampshire tracking down Washington, who had fled there within hours of the massacre to stay with an unwitting old friend, Monique Benson.
Benson, a 31-year-old nursing home employee who lives with her 13-year-old son, told the Herald she had grown up with Washington in Dorchester, and they had made plans “two to four weeks ago” for him to come visit for her birthday, which was Thursday.
On Tuesday, she picked him up at the bus station, she said, and there was no indication that anything was wrong.
When she returned home from work Friday to find her apartment surrounded by police, “I was shocked,” she said. “They’re making him out like he’s a monster. He’s no monster. He’s a good guy. They just think he knows the person who did it.”
Benson said she and Washington “go way back,” but she did not know what, if anything, he does for a living.
“All I know is he’s always with his kids,” she said. “Why would he kill a 2-year-old? He’s got three or four kids of his own.”
Washington has had brushes with law enforcement for years, including arrests for:
Forged checks that were cashed at a bank in July 2001.
Passing bad checks in 2006.
An assault and battery warrant in Dec. 29, 2009, days after he was accused of punching a woman.
A July warrant for assault and battery in April, when he was accused of slapping a woman and escaped on foot before police arrived, according to a report.
The dispositions of those cases were unavailable yesterday. Prosecutors said Washington had no outstanding warrants and only the most recent open assault and battery case when he was stopped Tuesday morning in Grove Hall near a car described by a fifth shooting victim who remains clinging to life.
Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Washington was brought to the homicide unit, where he eventually produced a key to the car and told cops he’d been inside. However, police did not have evidence to hold him at the time.
When cops discovered the vehicle was the same one taken from Woolson Street, they went to Washington’s Fowler Street home where the owner allowed them in to look for him, police said. During the search, cops found a plastic bag with marijuana as well as a bag with two firearms, police said. Those weapons have yet to be linked to the slayings. But it gave police enough to get a warrant for Washington – who, by then, had fled the state.
He was arrested in an intricately p
lanned raid described yesterday by multiple residents of the Deer Haven Preserve apartment complex in Manchester, N.H. Before they knocked on the door of Apartment 208, about 30 Manchester and Boston police and U.S. marshals evacuated the units on either side. A U.S. Marshal used a specially designed camera to crouch to the ground and peep under the door, and asked to see the layout of the unit directly above it, residents said.

With sharpshooters perched in trees nearby, a spotlight shining on the windows from outside and a battering ram and ambulance at the ready, police in bulletproof vests surrounded the building with guns drawn.
A next-door neighbor, who asked that her name be withheld, said officers then banged on Benson’s door, telling Washington: “We know you’re in there! Open the door!”
Washington did not resist arrest, police said.
An employee at the Hillsborough County Jail yesterday said, he had no lawyer listed.
His extradition hearing is tomorrow.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1286096

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