George “Jeffrey” Thompson’s killer left “a trail of evidence before the murder, during the murder, and after the murder” leading ineluctably to the man on trial for his homicide, a Suffolk County prosecutor said during her closing argument today.
OMAY TAVARES (D.O.B. 4/24/89) of Dorchester is charged with first-degree murder for Thompson’s Jan. 7, 2010, shooting death inside Thompson’s Rosseter Street home. Assistant District Attorney Gretchen Lundgren of District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office spoke this morning and his trial neared its end.
Lundgren reminded jurors of testimony indicating that Tavares called Thompson more than a dozen times on the day of the murder, with several of those calls coming shortly before the homicide. At the time of those calls, the prosecutor said, Tavares’ phone was hitting off the cell tower closest to Thompson’s home – and not one near the Greenbrier Street location at which Tavares claimed to have been at the time.
“The last call the defendant made on Jan. 7, 2010, is to Mr. Thompson,” Lundgren said. “The last call answered by Mr. Thompson was from the defendant. That’s no coincidence.”
Lundgren also said Tavares got a new phone the day after the homicide “to distance himself from the man he’d called 15 times that day.” The phone records don’t jibe with Tavares’ subsequent statements to Boston Police homicide detectives that he hadn’t spoken with Thompson for two and a half weeks.
Lundgren also cited testimony that the assailant identified himself as “O” – the nickname by which Tavares’ girlfriend and sister knew him – to a witness at the scene just before the shooting. In addition to identifications from photo arrays, the prosecutor recalled witness testimony that the assailant was “19 to 21 years old, with a light-skinned complexion, under 6’1” tall, with a slim build.”
Lundgren showed the jury a photograph of Tavares shortly after his Jan. 15, 2010, arrest.
“The defendant fits that description to a T,” she said.
Lundgren also noted the “pristine” fingerprint recovered by Boston Police criminalists on the outside doorknob of Thompson’s front door. It was matched to Tavares and its placement, Lundgren said, was consistent with the defendant pulling the door closed behind him.
“There was one identifiable print and only one identifiable print,” the prosecutor said. “One print with no prints overlaying it.”
Shortly after he was placed under arrest for Thompson’s murder, Lundgren said, he made a call in which he stated, “I got bagged.”
“Getting bagged doesn’t mean getting arrested,” the prosecutor said. “Getting bagged doesn’t mean missing curfew. Getting bagged means getting caught.”
A search of Tavares’ phone turned up a photo of a hand holding a Taurus Model 917 9mm semiautomatic handgun. According to testimony, Lundgren said, that firearm’s barrel has a right twist with six lands and six grooves – just like the projectiles recovered from Thompson’s body, the prosecutor said.
Thompson suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his hand, arm, torso, and head. Either of the shots to his chest and abdomen, which penetrated his heart and his liver, pancreas, spleen, and kidney, respectively, would have proven fatal had he not been shot in the back of the head, Lundgren said.
“Every fact the Commonwealth has submitted to you proving Mr. Tavares is the murderer is corroborated by multiple pieces of evidence,” Lundgren said. “Cell site records. Phone records. Eyewitnesses. Ballistics. Fingerprints. The defendant’s statements. All that evidence comes from sources separate from each other and they all point in one direction.”
After closing arguments, Judge Christine McEvoy instructed jurors on the relevant law. They will begin their deliberations this afternoon.
Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate on the case. Tavares is represented by attorney John Himmelstein.