The Supreme Judicial Court has ordered a new trial for a Boston man convicted in 2003 of the murder of Gregory Cormier. The 20-year-old former Milton High School basketball star was mistaken for a gang member and shot to death in June 1994.
The state supreme court has ordered a new trial for a Mattapan man convicted of murdering former Milton High School basketball star Gregory Cormier more than a decade ago.
A Norfolk County jury convicted Jameel Williams of first degree murder in 2003, nearly nine years after Cormier, 20, was shot several times and died inside a car at a Milton intersection
The Supreme Judicial Court said in a ruling issued today that the prosecutor’s closing argument in the case “is so replete with prejudicial improprieties that the convictions must be reversed ...” and a new trial held.
Williams was one of six members of the Belnel Dogs gang who either pleaded guilty or were convicted for their parts in Cormier’s murder the night of June 10, 1994. Cormier was not a member of a rival gang, the Greenfield Browns, but he had friends in that gang.
In its ruling, the state’s highest court ruled that prosecutor Robert Nelson wrongly introduced evidence into his closing argument from a co-defendant who hadn’t testified during Williams’ trial. Part of Nelson’s closing argument amounted to unsworn testimony being given to the jury to consider, the court ruled.