Posts tagged "1102914"

Commonwealth v. Reddy (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-029-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;       13‑P‑155                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JESSEN REDDY. No. 13‑P‑155. Essex.     December 6, 2013.  ‑  March 19, 2014. Present:  Grasso, Kafker, & Graham, JJ.   Assault and Battery.  Abuse Prevention.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, Assistance of counsel, New trial, Instructions to jury.  Evidence, Prior misconduct, Court record.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Lynn Division of the District Court Department on January 3, 2007.   Following review by this court, 76 Mass. App. Ct. 1112 (2010), a motion for a new trial, filed on November 15, 2010, was heard by Michael C. Lauranzano, J.     Kathryn Hayne Barnwell for the defendant. Paul Wagoner, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       KAFKER, J.  The defendant, Jessen Reddy, was convicted of violation of an abuse prevention order under G. L. c. 209A, § 7, and assault and battery under G. L. c. 265, § 13A(a).  In this, his second appeal, based on the denial of his motion for new trial, he raises numerous claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, both trial and appellate.  The claim of significance concerns trial counsel’s failure to object when the following language from the unredacted abuse prevention order was introduced in evidence and highlighted by the prosecutor in her closing:  “THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL LIKELIHOOD OF IMMEDIATE DANGER OF ABUSE.  YOU ARE ORDERED TO IMMEDIATELY SURRENDER to the Lynn Police Department all guns, ammunition, gun licenses . . . .”  We conclude that the prosecutor’s particular emphasis on the “substantial likelihood” of abuse language — exploiting the issuing judge’s previous findings regarding both the likelihood of the defendant to abuse the victim as well as the credibility of the victim — to prove violation of the abuse prevention order and the assault and battery was highly prejudicial.  We further conclude that defense counsel’s failure to redact this highlighted language from the abuse prevention order and to object to the prosecutor’s emphasis on it in closing constituted ineffective assistance of counsel that created a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice requiring a reversal of the defendant’s conviction of assault and battery.  However, we affirm the conviction of violating the abuse prevention order itself as the evidence was overwhelming that the defendant knew of the terms and conditions of the order, and at least contacted the victim and appeared at her residence in violation of the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm

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