Boston Herald

Not guilty verdict for man in ’02 slay

- By DAVE WEDGE

After just 2 hours of deliberati­on, a Suffolk jury yesterday cleared Mattapan man in the brazen 2002 slaying of the brother of a Boston cop.

Ablode Ahiahornu was acquitted in Suffolk Superior Court of the July 11, 2002, killing of 20-yearold Kendrick Wilcox, whose brother, Kyle, is a Boston police officer. Ahiahornu’s speedy acquittal came just months after another jury deliberate­d seven days on the case before announcing it was deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial.

The acquittal came after nineday trial, during which several witnesses, including a passenger in Wilcox’s car, identified Ahiahornu, 26, as the gunman who limped out of a car and executed Wilcox on Cummins Highway in Mattapan.

‘‘This was a strong case. We had multiple eyewitness­es to a broaddayli­ght shooting,’’ said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley. ‘‘ The case we submitted to the jury deserved

A more than 2 hours of deliberati­ons.’’ But defense attorney Kevin Reddington said witness testimony was inconsiste­nt, and that several holes were poked in the Police Department’s investigat­ion.

‘‘This young man has always been steadfast in maintainin­g his innocence,’’ Reddington said. ‘‘The jurors were very attentive. Maybe now they can go out and find the real killer of Kendrick Wilcox.’’

Prosecutor­s have said Wilcox’s killing was revenge for the 2000 death of 29-year-old Ricky Bodden, who fatally shot by Wilcox’s brother, Kyle. Kyle Wilcox was a rookie cop when he shot Bodden after a struggle in a Dorchester playground. Bodden was armed with handgun and Kyle Wilcox was cleared by the department of any wrongdoing.

There testimony during the trial that Kendrick Wilcox had been threatened by friends of Bodden, Reddington said.

The acquittal marked the fourth in a row for Reddington in firstdegre­e murder cases.

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