Slain Man’s Son Forgives Killer, Says Father’s “Spirit Is Within Me”
BOSTON, April 12, 2017— Relatives recalled Tasfa Wallace as a family man who loved his siblings as the brother who murdered him 17 years ago was sentenced to life in prison, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
TIMI WALLACE (D.O.B. 7/22/72) faced sentencing this morning after a Suffolk Superior Court jury yesterday found him guilty of second-degree murder in his brother’s 2000 slaying. Judge Linda Giles sentenced Wallace to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years, but ordered that the sentence only begin once Wallace has completed the 25-year federal prison sentence he is currently serving on an armed robbery conviction. He is scheduled to complete his federal incarceration on Dec. 14, 2025.
During the course of Wallace’s four-day trial in Suffolk Superior Court, Assistant District Attorneys Ursula Knight and Philip Cheng presented evidence and testimony to prove that Wallace was observed directly outside Tasfa Wallace’s Levant Street apartment on March 26, 2000, moments before the victim was struck by multiple gunshots fired through the door from two separate firearms. The evidence showed that the fatal shooting came amid a drug-related dispute.
Investigators obtained warrants a short time after charging Timi Wallace and a third brother, NICKOYAN WALLACE, with murder. As they were sought by Boston and federal authorities, Timi and Nickoyan Wallace took part in the armed robbery of a Rhode Island firearms dealer.
Nickoyan Wallace was captured in September 2000 and Timi Wallace in 2004, and both were convicted in connection with the gun store robbery. Nickoyan Wallace’s motion to dismiss the murder charge on speedy trial grounds was granted by a Superior Court judge, whose decision was reversed by the Massachusetts Appeals Court and then reinstated by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2015. A similar motion by Timi was denied, clearing the way for his murder trial.
Before Giles imposed Timi Wallace’s sentence this morning, Tasfa Wallace’s widow and son delivered victim impact statements in court.
“Tasfa was a dad that wanted the best for his children. He wanted to make sure that the children were educated and explored their history, learning about their heritage,” Wallace’s wife told the court. “He also loved and cared for his mother, brothers, and sisters. He looked to them as a support system. His family was his best friend. When I think about who did this to Tasfa, it tears my heart into pieces. It’s unimaginable and hard for me to process.”
“I will never forget about my dad for as long as I live, and I hope all of you that were close to him don’t either. Sometimes I feel like his spirit is within me,” said Wallace’s adult son, who was 6 years old when his father was killed. “I am no longer looking for an explanation or an apology like I’ve been for the past ten years of my life. I forgive you and I love you Timi and the rest of the Wallace family. I only wish I truly got to know who my father and his family sincerely were.”
“As prosecutors, we come to know homicide victims only in death,” Conley said. “Part of understanding who they were comes from the people who loved them, and were loved by them. Tasfa’s wife and children suffered an irreplaceable loss, but their strength and grace in spite of their sorrow inspired us every day of trial, and we hope they can take some comfort in knowing that justice was done on his behalf.”
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Lewis assisted in appellate arguments on the Wallace case before the MAC and SJC. Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Wallace was represented by Norman Zalkind.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.