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Commonwealth v. LaBrie (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-031-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11836   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KRISTEN A. LaBRIE.       Essex.     November 2, 2015. – March 9, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Attempt.  Homicide.  Assault and Battery.  Reckless Endangerment of a Child.  Intent.  Evidence, Intent.  Practice, Criminal, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on July 3, 2009.   The cases were tried before Richard E. Welch, III, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on June 6, 2013, was heard by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Michelle Menken for the defendant. Marcia H. Slingerland, Assistant District Attorney (Kate Berrigan MacDougall, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.     BOTSFORD, J.  The defendant, Kristin LaBrie, was charged with the attempted murder of her young son and related assault and battery and child endangerment crimes.  The Commonwealth contends that the defendant, with the intent to kill her son, did not give him prescribed chemotherapy and other medications designed to treat the cancer from which he suffered and ultimately died.  At a trial before an Essex County jury, the defendant was convicted on these charges; before us is her appeal from these convictions and also from the denial of her motion for a new trial.  The defendant claims that her conviction of attempted murder must be reversed because the Commonwealth was required, and failed, to prove that the substantive crime of murder was not achieved, and because the judge’s instructions to the jury on this crime were erroneous.  She further claims that the evidence also was insufficient to permit convictions of the two assault and battery charges, and again that the judge’s instructions were legally incorrect.  Finally, the defendant argues that the judge erred in denying her motion for a new trial and in particular in rejecting her claims concerning the ineffective assistance provided by trial counsel.  For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the defendant’s conviction of reckless endangerment of a child under G. L. c. 265, § 13L; reverse the judgments on both assault and battery charges and order judgment for the defendant on those charges; and reverse the order denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial on the charge of attempted murder. Background.  […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 10, 2016 at 12:12 am

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