Posts tagged "1103114"

Commonwealth v. Wallace (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-031-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑1798                                       Appeals Court 12‑P‑1557   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  NICKOYAN WALLACE (and a companion case[1]). Nos. 12‑P‑1798 & 12‑P‑1557. Suffolk.     November 13, 2013.  ‑  March 21, 2014. Present:  Kantrowitz, Graham, & Meade, JJ.   Constitutional Law, Speedy trial, Delay in commencement of prosecution.  Practice, Criminal, Speedy trial, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Capital case.  Due Process of Law, Delay in commencement of prosecution.  Homicide.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 22, 2002.   Motions to dismiss, filed on June 18 and 28, 2010, were heard by Charles J. Hely, J.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal in the companion case was allowed by Ralph D. Gants, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeals were consolidated and reported by him to the Appeals Court.     Norman S. Zalkind for Timi Wallace. Sarah H. Montgomery, Assistant District Attorney (Ursula Knight, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth. Matthew A. Kamholtz for Nickoyan Wallace.     GRAHAM, J.  In June, 2010, the defendants, Nickoyan Wallace and Timi Wallace, indicted in May, 2002, for murder in the first degree, filed motions to dismiss the indictments based on violations of their speedy trial rights under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, art. 11 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, and Mass.R.Crim.P. 36(d)(3), 378 Mass. 913 (1979). A judge in the Superior Court conducted a three-day evidentiary hearing on the motions during which he heard testimony from two law enforcement officers and five assistant district attorneys.  In addition, by agreement, the judge received in evidence several documentary exhibits. Following the hearing, the judge issued a lengthy and comprehensive memorandum of decision and order dated December 6, 2011.  After weighing the relevant speedy trial factors, the judge concluded that the Commonwealth’s seven-year delay in filing a detainer against Nickoyan was egregious, giving rise to presumptive prejudice that required dismissal of the indictment against him.  In contrast, the judge denied Timi’s motion to dismiss on the basis that Timi was more responsible for the delay and could not benefit from any prejudice resulting therefrom. The Commonwealth filed a timely appeal from the dismissal of the indictment against Nickoyan.  A single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County allowed Timi’s motion for interlocutory review of the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 22, 2014 at 7:45 am

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