Another Victim, 14, Nearly Killed in Gang-Related Shooting
BOSTON, Nov. 22, 2013— Two Dorchester men were found guilty today of gunning down 16-year-old Jaivon Blake as part of a gang feud in which the youth had no part, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
SHELDON MATTIS (D.O.B. 1/22/93) and NYASANI WATT (D.O.B. 10/5/93) were each found guilty of first-degree murder under the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty in Blake’s 2011 shooting death. Both men were also convicted of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and gun charges for nearly killing Blake’s 14-year-old friend during the same attack.
“People of conscience should be angry about this case,” Conley said. “They should be angry that two boys, just 14 and 16, would be gunned down on the streets of their own city without provocation. There’s no gang or allegiance or code of conduct that can excuse this act or even make sense of it. I hope it brings Jaivon’s family some comfort to know that Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors worked so hard on this case, and I hope it provides some satisfaction that justice was done after a full, fair, and thorough airing of the facts at trial.”
Sentencing will take place Dec. 2 before Judge Christine Roach. Mattis, who was 18 years old at the time of the slaying, faces a mandatory life term without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors will argue for the same sentence for Watt, who pulled the trigger on Blake and the 14-year-old just a few weeks shy of his own 18th birthday; a Supreme Court decision last year allows juveniles to be sentenced to life without parole but ruled that it may not be imposed automatically without a hearing.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Hallal, chief of the DA’s Senior Trial Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Greg Henning presented evidence during seven days of testimony to prove that the defendants planned the shooting to demonstrate that the area surrounding Levant Street in Dorchester was the turf of a gang known as “Flatline.”
On Sept. 25, 2011, the evidence showed, the two defendants saw the surviving victim standing outside a Geneva Avenue convenience store. Testimony proved that Mattis engaged in a brief conversation with the boy in an attempt to determine whether he belonged to a rival gang. He bought rolling papers for the boy and then returned to Levant Street and informed his associates that the young teen belonged to a rival gang.
The boy then walked away and met up with his friend, Blake.
The evidence showed that Watt armed himself with a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, which Mattis helped conceal. Mattis then gave Watt an encouraging pat on the back as Watt rode a bicycle toward the young teens on Geneva Avenue. He then fired at least six shots, striking Blake in the back, piercing his liver, spine, and major blood vessels. Responding Boston Police officers were able to briefly resuscitate Blake, but he died at Boston Medical Center later that day.
The surviving teen was shot in the neck, leaving a trail of blood as he fled. He was treated for his injuries at Boston Medical Center and survived his injuries.
Two co-defendants, MATTHEW MITTON and RANDALL VARISTE-SCOTT, have admitted being part of the defendants’ gang and have pleaded guilty to charges of their own including witness intimidation and perjury. Another, MICHAEL TAVARES, is still facing charges of witness intimidation.
Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Watt was represented by attorney Willie Davis. Mattis was represented by Scott Lauer and Kelly Porges.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.