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Commonwealth v. Walters (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-057-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReportersjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12364   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MICHAEL WALTERS.       Bristol.     December 4, 2017. – April 12, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Practice, Criminal, Sentence.  Moot Question.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 28, 2011.   Following review by this court, 472 Mass. 680 (2015), a resentencing hearing was had before E. Susan Garsh, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Ethan C. Stiles for the defendant. Roger L. Michel, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          CYPHER, J.  The defendant, Michael J. Walters, was convicted by a jury in the Superior Court of stalking, harassment, two counts of restraining order violations, and two counts of perjury.  While he was serving his State prison sentence for stalking, that conviction was vacated by this court because the evidence was insufficient.  Commonwealth v. Walters, 472 Mass. 680 (2015) (Walters I).  As a result, the defendant was resentenced on the remaining convictions.  At resentencing, the defendant requested that his perjury sentence be deemed “time served” because it was the only other sentence that could have been considered a State prison sentence.  Rather than granting the defendant’s request, however, the trial judge vacated the stalking sentence, consistent with our opinion in Walters I, and imposed the remaining sentences nunc pro tunc to the date of his original sentence.  Consequently, the defendant served his sentences for criminal harassment and a restraining order violation — crimes that normally carry a sentence to a house of correction — in State prison.  The defendant appealed from his resentencing on the ground that the structure of his resentencing scheme was illegal.  Following the Appeals Court’s dismissal of the defendant’s case as moot, we granted further appellate review.  We affirm the decision of the resentencing judge. Background.  1.  First trial and sentences.  On June 12, 2012, the defendant was convicted of stalking, G. L. c. 265, § 43 (a); criminal harassment, G. L. c. 265, § 43A (a); two counts of restraining order violations, G. L. c. 209A, § 7; and two counts of perjury, G. L. c. 268, § 1.  The trial judge sentenced the defendant to the following:  on the charge of stalking, from three to four years in a State prison; on the charge of criminal […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm

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