Posts tagged "1006716"

Commonwealth v. Valentin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-067-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11448   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ELVIN VALENTIN.       Bristol.     January 12, 2016. – May 20, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Homicide.  Intoxication.  Evidence, Prior misconduct, Relevancy and materiality.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Argument by prosecutor, Request for jury instructions, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 28, 2009.   The cases were tried before Thomas F. McGuire, Jr., J.     John F. Palmer for the defendant. Rachel W. van Deuren, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     DUFFLY, J.  The defendant was convicted by a Superior Court jury of murder in the first degree in the shooting deaths of Nettie Becht and Luis Diaz, on theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty.  On appeal, the defendant asserts error in the judge’s decision to permit the introduction in evidence of weapons and related items that he lawfully owned and that were not alleged to have been used in the shooting.  The defendant asserts error also in the denial of his request that the jury be instructed on voluntary manslaughter based on a theory of reasonable provocation, and in the instruction that was given that the jury must “find” the defendant was intoxicated.  He also challenges portions of the prosecutor’s closing argument in several respects. Concluding that there was no error, we affirm the defendant’s convictions and decline to exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to grant a new trial or reduce the verdicts to a lesser degree of guilt. 1.  Background.  a.  Commonwealth’s case.  We recite the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain facts for later discussion.  The defendant and Becht lived in different apartments in the same housing complex in New Bedford.  They had been involved in an intermittent relationship that spanned a four-year period; during that period, the defendant and Becht occasionally spent the night at each other’s apartments and the defendant had loaned Becht money.  According to the defendant, Becht had “cheated” on him and he felt that she was “using” him.  Becht ended the relationship prior to the shootings. Becht was treated at a hospital on the night before she was killed.[1]  When the defendant attempted to visit her there, she told him that she did not want to see him.  The next […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm

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