BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- In closing arguments in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday, prosecutors portrayed former English School Dean Shaun Harrison as a drug dealer living a lie, who shot his former student in order to hide the fact that he was selling marijuana for him--while Harrison's defense tried to convince jurors that there wasn't enough proof to convict him.
The prosecution claims Harrison shot then-17-year-old Luis Rodriguez, then a sophomore at Boston English High School, on a snowy night in March of 2015 after taking him on a walk. Harrison is now charged with attempted murder.
The former dean shot Rodriguez, Prosecutor David Bradley said, "because he didn't want anybody to find out that he was a drug dealer ... Harrison didn't want anybody to find out that he was using Luis to sell drugs."
Two weeks ago, the court heard testimony from Rodriguez, who described the night he was shot in the head from behind.
Rodriguez, now 20, told the court how he flagged down a passing driver, who took him to the hospital. The bullet broke his jaw, damaged his hearing, and severed a facial nerve--leaving him in the hospital for 12 days.
He said Harrison was walking behind him that night, and pulled the trigger before running off. The jurors also viewed surveillance video that allegedly shows Harrison and Rodriguez walking together, with one of the figures running off while the other flags down a motorist.
"He had the motive, he had the opportunity," Bradley said of Harrison. "He shot Luis in the back of the head ... that coward left him to die in the streets."
But Harrison's defense attorney, Bruce Carroll, took issue with several aspects of the prosecution's story.
"There is more than enough reasonable doubt for you to find Shaun Harrison not guilty," he told jurors.
Carroll started his statements by admitting his client was guilty of weapons possession charges--but noted that he invited police to his home to see the guns.
Carroll noted that, when asked who shot him, Rodriguez told hospital staff that it was someone he'd just sold marijuana, and did not mention Harrison. He also called into question the credibility of the young students--some of whom received immunity--who testified that Harrison was a drug dealer.
With closing arguments finished, the jury now has the case.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports