Posts tagged "1011717"

Commonwealth v. Muller (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-117-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11176   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CHRISTIAN MULLER.       Worcester.     December 9, 2016. – July 11, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, & Gaziano, JJ.     Homicide.  Armed Assault with Intent to Murder.  Armed Home Invasion.  Firearms.  Mental Impairment.  Insanity.  Intoxication.  Evidence, Insanity, Intoxication.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Instructions to jury, Argument by prosecutor.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August 23, 2007.   The cases were tried before Richard T. Tucker, J.     Deirdre L. Thurber for the defendant. Susan M. Oftring, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          HINES, J.  During an armed home invasion of an apartment in Dudley, the defendant, Christian Muller, and an accomplice[1] shot and killed two of the occupants and critically wounded a third.  After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree, on the theories of deliberate premeditation and felony-murder,[2] armed assault with intent to murder, armed home invasion and unlawful possession of a firearm. At trial, the defendant admitted that he had shot the victims; his primary defense was that he lacked criminal responsibility because of mental illness and cocaine addiction.  On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) the jury instruction on criminal responsibility and voluntary intoxication was erroneous because it failed to comply with Commonwealth v. Berry, 457 Mass. 602 (2010), S.C., 466 Mass. 763 (2014), and Commonwealth v. DiPadova, 460 Mass. 424 (2011); (2) certain of the other jury instructions were fatally flawed; and (3) the prosecutor’s closing argument was improper.  We affirm the convictions and decline to grant relief pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Background.  1.  The trial.  We summarize the facts as the jury could have found them, reserving additional details for later discussion. The Commonwealth’s case.  On the evening of July 8, 2007, Joanne Mercier was in her bedroom in the third-floor apartment that she shared with her brother, Aaron Bash, in Dudley.  Bash was asleep in his bedroom and their friend, Denise Johnston, was sleeping on a sofa in the living room.  Shortly after midnight on July 9, the defendant and Marc Letang kicked down the back door and entered the apartment with their guns drawn.[3]  The men walked through the kitchen and entered Mercier’s bedroom, asking where Bash was.  After Mercier told them that Bash […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

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