Posts tagged "1014414"

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-144-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11428 COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MARIO GONZALEZ.       Suffolk.     April 11, 2014. – August 19, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1]   Homicide.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Dying declaration, Prior misconduct, Intoxication, Intent.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Instructions to jury.  Intoxication.  Mental Impairment.  Intent.     Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 19, 2009.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Charles J. Hely, J., and the case was tried before Geraldine S. Hines, J.     David Keighley for the defendant. Helle Sachse, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, J.  In the early morning hours of February 15, 2009, the defendant stabbed his girl friend multiple times shortly after they returned to his apartment from a local bar. The victim died of her wounds later that morning.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 1.[2]  On appeal, the defendant claims that:  (1) the statements the defendant made from his holding cell in response to police questioning should have been suppressed because he had earlier invoked his right to silence; (2) the admission in evidence of the defendant’s invocation of his right to silence created a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice; (3) the trial judge erred in admitting statements made by the victim as dying declarations; (4) the judge erred in admitting certain testimony regarding the defendant’s prior bad acts; and (5) the absence of an instruction to the jury that they may consider the defendant’s consumption of alcohol in determining whether the defendant acted in a cruel or atrocious manner in causing the victim’s death created a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice.   The defendant also requests that we exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the conviction to a lesser included offense.  We reject the defendant’s first four claims, but agree with the fifth.  We therefore reverse the defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree and remand the case to the Superior Court to allow the Commonwealth to choose between entry of a verdict of murder in the second degree or retrial of the defendant […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm

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