BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – The Supreme Judicial Court has overturned a murder conviction from 2017. The highest court in the state threw out the first degree murder conviction of Wesson Colas because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove Colas intended to shoot anyone.
The incident happened at the annual Caribbean Festival on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester in 2014. Colas and another defendant, Keith Williams, were in rival gangs at the time, and state prosecutors alleged that both Williams and Colas were part of an argument inside a convenience store, which continued outside the store. Colas left to get a gun, and came back. State prosecutors say Colas pointed his gun at Williams but didn’t shoot – then Williams started shooting, and hit two bystanders. One of the bystanders, Dawnn Jaffier, was killed.
Keith Williams was eventually convicted of first degree murder.
The state had argued that because he pulled his gun first and caused a gun battle, Colas was responsible for first-degree murder also, even though he didn’t shoot anyone.
The Supreme Judicial Court says that logic is faulty, and vacated both Colas’ first degree murder and assault with intent to murder charges.
The court, however, reaffirmed the charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against Colas.
The justices ordered a new trial for Wesson Colas in Superior Court on charges of second degree murder.
WBZ’s Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports: