Life Sentence in Ames Street Murder

BOSTON, August 22, 2019—Nearly three years after 28-year-old Dantley Leonard was fatally shot in a Dorchester housing complex, the man responsible for his murder was sentenced to life in prison, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced.

JULIAN TROCHE, 27, faced sentencing Tuesday after a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted him Friday of first-degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the 2016 shooting that killed Leonard and injured a second man.  Judge Mitchell Kaplan sentenced the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole – the mandatory term for the offense of first-degree murder – and consecutive prison terms for the crimes against the second victim

“Sending someone to prison for life is not what any of us consider a victory, but when an individual takes a life and inflicts unspeakable harm on our communities, we have a responsibility to remove them from the community,” District Attorney Rollins said.  “I hope that Mr. Leonard’s family finds some comfort in knowing that the defendant has been held accountable for their loved one’s murder and that he will never have the opportunity to harm another member of the public again.”

Assistant District Attorney Mark Zanini presented evidence and testimony at trial to prove that the defendant drove with a companion to the Franklin Field Development in Dorchester on the afternoon of November 12, 2016.  He twice drove away from the location but later returned to Ames Street, where he exited his vehicle and immediately opened fire with a .40 caliber pistol on men preparing to move furniture from a truck into an apartment in the complex. 

Mr. Leonard was shot 11 times and died of his injuries.  A second man was shot three times but survived.

Cell site location information and traffic cameras placed the defendant in the area of Ames Street at the time of Mr. Leonard’s murder.  

Shell casings from the scene of the homicide matched those recovered from Wales Street eight weeks earlier from an exchange of gunfire in which the defendant was injured and his friend Phillip Woods, Jr., was killed.  The defendant later sent text messages vowing violent retaliation.  Woods’ murder remains unsolved.

Boston Police stopped the defendant in his car four days after the November murder.  At that time, the defendant was wearing a sweatshirt that tested positive for gunshot primer residue. 

“I’d like to commend my prosecutors and the Boston Police homicide detectives who worked diligently to bring Mr. Leonard’s killer to justice,” District Attorney Rollins said.  “I’d also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Leonard’s family, who turned their pain into a call for peace in the community when they spoke at the defendant’s sentencing yesterday.  We have lost too many lives to gun violence, and I hope that everyone who would consider picking up a gun to take the pleas of Mr. Leonard’s family to heart: to instead focus on making it home safe to your family at the end of the day, and allow others to do the same.”

Elise McConnell was assigned victim witness advocate.  The defendant was represented by James Greenberg.

 

 

All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Renee Algarin