Posts tagged "1101914"

Commonwealth v. Caruso (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-019-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;       12‑P‑1096                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  STEVEN CARUSO. No. 12‑P‑1096. Middlesex.     November 15, 2013.  ‑  February 28, 2014. Present:  Kafker, Milkey, & Hines, JJ.   Practice, Criminal, New trial.  Evidence, Computer simulation.     Complaint received and sworn to in the Malden Division of the District Court Department on November 5, 1998.   A motion for a new trial, filed on March 18, 2008, was heard by Gregory C. Flynn, J., and motions for expert funds were also heard by him.     David A.F. Lewis for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       MILKEY, J.  In 1999, following a jury trial in District Court, the defendant was convicted of two counts of malicious destruction of property (a car), G. L. c. 266, § 127.  In 2001, this court affirmed those convictions in an unpublished memorandum and order.  Commonwealth v. Caruso, 52 Mass. App. Ct. 1101 (2001).  Seven years later, after the defendant was convicted of murdering the owner of the damaged car, he filed a motion for new trial.  He argued that newly discovered evidence definitively proved that he could not have been the person who damaged the car.  That motion was heard and denied by the trial judge, who issued a forty-one page decision that explained his reasoning in thoughtful detail.  For the reasons set forth below, we agree with the judge that the material on which the defendant relies does not constitute “newly discovered evidence.”  We also agree that this “evidence” — while of some superficial force — does not cast any “real doubt on the justice of the conviction.”  Commonwealth v. Grace, 397 Mass. 303, 305 (1986).  We therefore affirm. Background.  We summarize the key trial evidence as follows.  The victim was Sandra Berfield, who lived in Everett.  On four separate occasions during the fall of 1998, someone caused serious damage to her car while it was parked on the street next to her home.  In the first two incidents, all four of Berfield’s tires were slashed; in the second two, battery acid was poured into her gas tank.  The dispute at trial was over the identity of the perpetrator.   Berfield worked at a Bickford’s restaurant in Medford.  The defendant patronized the restaurant with pronounced regularity, eating there once or twice virtually every day.  Beginning in 1996, the defendant insisted on […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,