Posts tagged "1017214"

Commonwealth v. Evans (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-172-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-10873 COMMONWEALTH  vs.  THOMAS EVANS. Middlesex.     November 8, 2013. – October 20, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.1   Homicide.  Robbery.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Malice.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Required finding, Argument by prosecutor.  Evidence, Consciousness of guilt, Expert opinion.  Witness, Expert.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.     Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on October 15, 2007.   The cases were tried before Raymond J. Brassard, J.     Leslie W. O’Brien for the defendant. Fawn D. Balliro Andersen, Assistant District Attorney (John C. Verner, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.     DUFFLY, J.  The defendant was indicted for the armed robbery and murder of Paula Doherty.  The victim was last seen alive on Saturday, September 30, 2006, at her Medford residence, where she, a friend, the defendant, and the defendant’s nephew had been using cocaine.  When the friend left at 5:30 P.M. that afternoon, the defendant had passed out in a chair in the victim’s room and the victim was preparing to go to sleep.  On Monday, October 2, after the victim failed to return telephone calls, the friend went to the victim’s house to check on her, and discovered the body of the victim, who had been beaten to death.  A Superior Court jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony-murder, with armed robbery as the predicate felony. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial judge erred in denying his motions for a required finding of not guilty, because the circumstantial evidence of guilt was insufficient to establish that the defendant was at the scene of the crime during the period when the victim was robbed and killed.  The defendant argues also that the judge erred in allowing the admission of expert testimony concerning the potential absence of blood on the victim’s killer.  We conclude that there was no error requiring reversal and, after a careful review of the record, that there is no reason to exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to order a new trial or to reduce the conviction to a lesser degree of guilt. 1.  Facts.  Based on evidence introduced at trial, the jury could have found the following. a.  Events of September 28 to 30, 2006.  The victim sold cocaine from her residence, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

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