Posts tagged "1000715"

Commonwealth v. Simpkins (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-007-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11601   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ADAM SIMPKINS. Suffolk.     October 9, 2014. – January 21, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding, Double jeopardy.  Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Accessory and Principal.  Firearms.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on October 7, 2013.   The case was reported by Gants, J.     Robert L. Sheketoff (Kirsten M. O’Brien with him) for the defendant. Cailin M. Campbell, Assistant District Attorney (Mark T. Lee, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.     SPINA, J.  In 2011, the defendant, Adam Simpkins, was indicted on charges of murdering Cordell MacAfee, armed assault with intent to murder Christopher Jones, accessory after the fact to murder, and unlawful possession of firearms.  The jury found the defendant guilty of unlawful possession of firearms and accessory after the fact.  The jury were unable to reach a verdict on the indictments charging murder and armed assault with intent to murder, and the judge declared a mistrial as to those indictments.[1]  The Commonwealth requested that sentencing on the indictments on which the defendant was found guilty be postponed until he could be retried on the indictments that were mistried.  The defendant, in turn, moved to dismiss the mistried indictments on two theories of double jeopardy, namely, (1) his motion for required findings of not guilty at the close of the Commonwealth’s case should have been allowed, and (2) the conviction of accessory after the fact has collateral estoppel effect barring retrial of the indictments alleging murder and armed assault with intent to murder.  The defendant’s motion was denied.  The defendant filed this petition under G. L. c. 211, § 3, alleging that the denial of his motion to dismiss violated principles of double jeopardy and that the Commonwealth, having convicted the defendant of being an accessory after the fact, was estopped as a matter of law from trying him as a principal for the same crime.  See Costarelli v. Commonwealth, 374 Mass. 677, 679-680 (1978).  The single justice reserved and reported the case, without decision, to the full court.  We hold that the defendant’s motion for required findings of not guilty as to the indictments charging murder and armed assault with intent to murder should have been allowed.  Because of this […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 21, 2015 at 6:38 pm

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