Man convicted of 2021 murder on Park Street

A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Wednesday convicted Nickoyan Wallace, 49, of first-degree murder for gunning down Ivanildo Barros on Park Street in Dorchester in 2021, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Judge Debra Squires-Lee set sentencing for Friday, although the verdict carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole - subject to a review by the Supreme Judicial Court.

According to the DA's office: "On May 28, 2021, Gomes-Barros and Wallace’s brother engaged in an argument outside of 77 Spencer Street. During that time, Wallace came down Spencer Street, took out a gun and opened fire at Gomes-Barros. Wallace then chased Gomes-Barros around the corner and into the backyard of 590 Park Street, where he shot Gomes-Barros multiple times, including two shots to the head. Gomes-Barros was pronounced dead on scene."

Wallace represented himself at his trial.

Last year, also representing himself, and declaring his name to be "Szyon Nkrumah, Al © All Rights Reserved," Wallace asked the Supreme Judicial Court to throw out the case completely, arguing that as an "Indigenous, Free Sovereign and Private Great Seal Moor, in propria persona, sui juris (not pro se or colorable)," the state was not the boss of him, because free Moors like him are free to do whatever they want on the land they own and under a 1786 treaty with Morocco.

The state's highest court saw things differently and ordered him to stand trial - although it acknowledged it was not ruling on his get-out-of-jail-free argument directly, just that he needs to make that argument on appeal.

Other courts, however, have repeatedly rejected the sovereign-Moor argument, most recently last week, when a Middlesex Superior Court jury convicted two Moorish militia members on gun charges for their role in an armed standoff on Rte. 128, after a federal judge told one of the two men that even Moroccans have to stand trial if they are charged with crimes in state court.

Gomes-Barros's murder was not the first time that Wallace faced murder charges. He and his brother Timi were charged for the 2000 murder of their brother Tasfa, but the SJC threw out that case, not because of Wallace's purported sovereignty, but because prosecutors waited too long to bring him to trial - the four years between the murder and the capture of Timi Wallace, violating his right to a speedy trial.

Timi Wallace was eventually convicted of second-degree murder; the speedy-trial issue did not apply to him because he fled out of state, and time out of Massachusetts does not count in calculating when somebody should come to trial.

The two remaining Wallace brothers were both convicted in federal court of robbing a store in Providence at gunpoint - seven months before Tasfa Wallace's death. Nickoyan Wallace was released from federal prison in 2015.

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