Posts tagged "1018617"

Commonwealth v. Sullivan (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-186-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11808   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  GERALD SULLIVAN.       Middlesex.     April 7, 2017. – November 16, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Homicide.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Armed Home Invasion.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Practice, Criminal, Witness, Hearsay, Confrontation of witnesses, Disclosure of evidence, Capital case.  Evidence, Hearsay, Expert opinion, Disclosure of evidence, Exculpatory, Qualification of expert witness, Impeachment of credibility.  Witness, Police officer, Expert, Impeachment, Competency, Credibility.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses.  Due Process of Law, Disclosure of evidence.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 30, 2011.   The cases were tried before S. Jane Haggerty, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on September 9, 2015, was heard by Edward P. Leibensperger, J.     Leslie W. O’Brien for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney (Elizabeth A. Dunigan, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.         GAZIANO, J.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of felony-murder, with the predicate felony of armed home invasion, in the shooting death of Johnny Hatch on February 18, 2011.[1]  In this direct appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions.  He also challenges several evidentiary rulings concerning the introduction of testimony about deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) found on objects at the crime scene, and testimony concerning the use of a DNA profile of the defendant stored in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, which was described to the jury as a “national database.”  In addition, the defendant maintains that the motion judge erred in denying his motion for a new trial on the ground that the Commonwealth did not provide exculpatory evidence concerning a forensic scientist’s failure to pass required proficiency tests.  We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions, and that none of the asserted errors in the trial proceedings requires a new trial.  Further, having carefully reviewed the record, pursuant to our duty under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, we discern no reason to exercise our extraordinary authority to grant a new trial or to reduce the verdict to a lesser degree of guilt. Facts.  We recite the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain facts for later discussion. At approximately 10 P.M. on February 18, 2011, John and Darlene Vieira[2] were in their apartment in West Medford. […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

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