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Commonwealth v. Jessup (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-053-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11376 COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ANTHONY EUGENE JESSUP. Hampden.     December 5, 2014. – April 8, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Cordy, Botsford, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Firearms.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Constitutional Law, Imprisonment, Freedom of speech and press.  Wanton or Reckless Conduct.  Robbery.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Motion to suppress, Instructions to jury, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on July 30, 2010.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Constance M. Sweeney, J., and the cases were tried before Richard J. Carey, J.     Elaine Pourinski for the defendant. Deborah D. Ahlstrom, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     HINES, J.  In the early morning hours of May 30, 2010, Jonathan Santiago was shot and killed as he sat in his vehicle parked near a Springfield sports bar.  The defendant was indicted for the shooting, and a jury convicted him of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder (with attempted armed robbery as the underlying felony), unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.[1],[2]  Represented by new counsel on appeal, he argues (1) error in the denial of his motion to suppress a letter he wrote to another detainee while he was detained awaiting trial; (2) that a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice arose from the trial judge’s failure to instruct on involuntary manslaughter; and (3) that his trial counsel was ineffective in not requesting an instruction on involuntary manslaughter based on wanton or reckless conduct.  We affirm the order denying the defendant’s motion to suppress as well as the defendant’s convictions, and discern no basis to exercise our authority pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Background.  Based on the evidence adduced by the Commonwealth at trial, the jury could have found the following facts.  On May 29, 2010, the victim met up with his friends, Andrew Cooke, Marquis Chase, Kasheef Sheppard, Timothy Henderson, and Alan Bamber, outside a sports bar in Springfield where Virgil Vargas was celebrating her twenty-first birthday.[3]  Vargas previously had attended high school in Springfield with the victim, the defendant, and James Jamal Stovall, who was tried with the defendant.  Stovall was her friend.  She spoke with Stovall and the defendant outside the bar about fifteen to twenty minutes before the shooting.[4]  According to […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 9, 2015 at 3:29 am

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