Posts tagged "1002818"

Commonwealth v. Dabney (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-028-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-12349   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KENYA DABNEY.       Suffolk.     November 6, 2017. – February 13, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Trafficking.  Deriving Support from Prostitution.  Rape.  Assault and Battery.  Jury and Jurors.  Practice, Criminal, Jury and jurors, Voir dire, Instructions to jury.  Evidence, Impeachment of credibility.  Witness, Impeachment.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on February 4, 2015.   The cases were tried before Linda E. Giles, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     David Rangaviz, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant. Nicholas Brandt, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Emma Quinn-Judge & Zoraida Fernandez, for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     GAZIANO, J.  The defendant was convicted by a Superior Court jury of human trafficking, deriving support from prostitution, rape, and two counts of assault and battery.  On appeal, he argues that, during voir dire, the judge improperly prevented his attorney from asking members of the venire whether they would expect an innocent defendant to testify.  He also contends that the evidence presented was insufficient to sustain a conviction of human trafficking, and that the judge’s instruction to the jury regarding the human trafficking charge was inadequate.  The defendant claims further that the judge erred in allowing the introduction of certain records and then retroactively ordering them to be redacted, which prevented defense counsel from using the records for impeachment purposes. We conclude that the judge did not abuse her discretion in limiting defense counsel’s questioning during voir dire, the evidence against the defendant was legally sufficient, the jury instructions were proper, and there was no abuse of discretion in the judge’s evidentiary ruling.  Accordingly, we affirm the convictions.[1] Background.  a.  Facts.  We recite the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain details for later discussion. Commonwealth’s case.  The victim and the defendant met in approximately June, 2014, and started dating a few months later.  The two began living together in a house in Chelsea belonging to “Uncle Otis,” a friend of the defendant; they also sometimes stayed in a house in Revere.  Around the time the victim and the defendant started dating, the defendant encouraged the victim to begin prostituting herself.  He told her […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm

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