Posts tagged "1103017"

Commonwealth v. Fantauzzi (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-030-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-574                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MIGUEL FANTAUZZI.     No. 15-P-574.   Suffolk.     October 4, 2016. – March 21, 2017.   Present:  Kafker, C.J., Trainor, & Henry, JJ.     Homicide.  Self-Defense.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Firearms.  Practice, Criminal, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 25, 2013.   The cases were tried before Christine M. Roach, J.     Katherine C. Riley for the defendant. Cailin M. Campbell, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     KAFKER, C.J.  The defendant, Miguel Fantauzzi, was convicted by a jury of voluntary manslaughter on an indictment that charged murder in the second degree.[1]  On appeal, he claims that the trial judge’s jury instructions regarding the relationship of self-defense to felony-murder and voluntary manslaughter were erroneous and that the Commonwealth’s closing argument contained improper statements.  We agree that the instructions in this particularly complicated case, where the underlying felony did not mark the defendant as either the aggressor or initiator of the violence, were incorrect, and therefore we reverse the conviction of voluntary manslaughter. Background.  The jury were warranted in finding the following facts.  On October 27, 2012, the victim, Christopher Powell, made plans with the defendant via text message to purchase drugs from the defendant.  At 6:29 P.M., the defendant called the victim’s cellular telephone (cell phone) and talked with him for a little over a minute.  Shortly thereafter, the defendant entered the rear passenger seat of the victim’s sport utility vehicle (SUV), which was parked on the street near 50 Clark Avenue in Chelsea.  The victim sat in the driver’s seat, and his friend, Robert Dobay, sat in the front passenger seat. After the defendant entered the SUV, the drug deal went awry.  The defendant, who had brought a loaded firearm to the meeting, fired two shots inside the SUV.  The defendant got out of the SUV, which began rolling until it hit the vehicle in front of it.  The defendant then fired two more shots at the SUV, one of which shattered the back passenger side window and the other of which went through the front passenger door, grazing Dobay’s leg.  Dobay testified that after the shots were fired, he jumped out of the SUV and began running down Clark Avenue.  As Dobay ran, he looked back and saw the defendant run […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

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