JURY CONVICTS DEFENDANT, 18, IN MURDER OF 15-YEAR-OLD

Press Release Issued by Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. ConleyBOSTON, April 26, 2006—A Suffolk Superior Court jury this afternoon convicted a Roxbury teenager of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy in Dorchester in the summer of 2003, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. After deliberating for three days, jurors found that KENTEL WEAVER, 18 (D.O.B. 7/29/87), fatally shot Germaine Rucker. Jurors also convicted Weaver of unlawful possession of a firearm. Weaver will be sentenced to the mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole, and faces an additional sentence for the firearm conviction, at his sentencing hearing on Monday. During several days of testimony, Assistant District Attorney John Pappas presented evidence showing that Weaver was among a group of youths from the Dudley Street neighborhood who approached Rucker on Wendover Street on Aug. 10, 2003. Rucker, who was on his bike, was alone and carrying a knapsack. Inside the bag were necklaces that he was selling. Evidence showed that Weaver and his friends, in an unprovoked attack, knocked Rucker to the ground and began to beat him. One of the assailants said “where’s the bag,” then ran off with it. As Rucker was on the ground, Weaver, who was 16 at the time, shot him twice, in the back and head. Weaver then ran away down Humphrey Street. A witness observed a person who was running down that street stumble, drop a gun and a Detroit Tigers baseball hat, pick up the gun, and continue to run, leaving the hat behind. Police recovered the hat later that night. A police officer testified at trial that Weaver had been wearing the same hat – which had distinctive extra lettering on its sides – when he was arrested for an unrelated prior crime. DNA testing done on the hat also linked it to Weaver, who himself later acknowledged ownership of the hat in an interview with police. A Boston police detective testified at trial that Weaver, in a subsequent interview admitted to shooting Rucker. In convicting Weaver, jurors rejected a defense argument that the defendant confessed because his mother believed him to be involved and coerced him to do so.