Posts tagged "1012013"

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-120-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;     SJC‑10940   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LUIS GONZALEZ.[1]     Worcester.     March 8, 2013.  ‑  July 9, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Cordy, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Self‑defense, Intent.  Self‑Defense.  Intent.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Motion to suppress, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 3, 2005.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Janet Kenton‑Walker, J., and the case was tried before John S. McCann, J.     Jeffrey L. Baler for the defendant. Jane A. Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     IRELAND, C.J.  On March 9, 2010, a jury convicted the defendant, Luis Gonzalez, of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation.  Represented by new counsel on appeal, the defendant argues error in (1) the denial of his motion to suppress statements, (2) the prosecutor’s closing argument, and (3) the judge’s instructions to the jury.  The defendant also seeks relief pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We affirm the order denying the defendant’s motion to suppress as well as the defendant’s conviction, and discern no basis to exercise our authority pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. 1.  Motion to suppress statements.  a.  Background and standard of review.  Prior to trial, the defendant moved to suppress statements he made to police after he was arrested, but before he received the Miranda warnings.  As relevant here, the defendant argued that his statements were not preceded by a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his Miranda rights in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and art. 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.  After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the motion judge denied the motion.  The judge concluded that the defendant’s statements were not the result of police interrogation, but rather were spontaneous and unprovoked and that, therefore, the lack of preceding Miranda warnings did not violate the defendant’s constitutional rights.  The judge also found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant’s statements had been voluntary. In reviewing a decision on a motion to suppress, “we accept the judge’s subsidiary findings of fact absent clear error ‘but conduct an independent review of [the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

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