Posts tagged "1007114"

Commonwealth v. Riley (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-071-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑10974   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MICHAEL RILEY.     Plymouth.     December 6, 2013.  ‑  April 15, 2014. Present:  Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, & Duffly, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Assistance of counsel, New trial, Required finding, Instructions to jury, Costs.  Malice.  Intent.  Evidence, Intent, Scientific test, Prior misconduct, Relevancy and materiality.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 23, 2007.   The case was tried before Charles J. Hely, J., and motions for authorization of funds and for a new trial were considered by him.     Dennis Shedd for the defendant. Gail M. McKenna, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     BOTSFORD, J.  In 2007, a Plymouth County grand jury returned indictments charging the defendant and his wife, Carolyn Riley,[1] with the murder of their four year old daughter, Rebecca.  The defendant and Carolyn were tried separately in 2010.  Carolyn was convicted of murder in the second degree; the defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty.  Before us is the defendant’s appeal from his conviction and from the denial of his motions for a new trial and for funds to retain a toxicologist.  The defendant argues the following:  (1) his trial counsel was ineffective in a number of respects; (2) his motion for a required finding of not guilty on the murder charge should have been allowed because there was insufficient evidence of malice; (3) the prosecutor improperly and excessively relied on evidence of the defendant’s bad character that was unfairly prejudicial; and (4) the judge abused his discretion in denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial without a hearing and the defendant’s related posttrial motion for funds to retain a toxicologist.  Last, the defendant asks us to use our power under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce his conviction to involuntary manslaughter.  We affirm the defendant’s judgment of conviction and the denial of his new trial motion and motion for funds, and we decline to reduce his conviction to a lesser degree of guilt. 1.  Background.  We summarize the facts as the jury could have found them, reserving certain details for our discussion of the issues raised.  The defendant and Carolyn had three children:  Gerard, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm

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