Posts tagged "1108415"

Commonwealth v. Evans (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-084-15)

  NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   14-P-975                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOHNNY J. EVANS.     No. 14-P-975. Suffolk.     March 16, 2015. – July 31, 2015.   Present:  Katzmann, Milkey, & Agnes, JJ. Controlled Substances.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress. Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Investigatory stop, Reasonable suspicion.  Search and Seizure, Threshold police inquiry, Reasonable suspicion.  Threshold Police Inquiry.     Complaint found and returned in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on April 17, 2013.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by David B. Poole, J.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Ralph D. Gants, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by him to the Appeals Court.     Cailin M. Campbell, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Rebecca A. Jacobstein for the defendant.     MILKEY, J.  During a street encounter that occurred in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood of the Dorchester section of Boston, Boston police discovered a bag of “crack” cocaine inside the defendant’s mouth.  The Commonwealth charged the defendant with possession of that cocaine in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 34.  After holding an evidentiary hearing, a Boston Municipal Court judge allowed the defendant’s motion to suppress the cocaine.  On the Commonwealth’s interlocutory appeal of that ruling, we affirm. Background.  When reviewing a decision on a motion to suppress, we accept the judge’s findings of fact absent clear error, but make an independent determination whether the judge correctly applied constitutional principles to the facts as found.  Commonwealth v. Lyles, 453 Mass. 811, 814 (2009).  The following recitation is drawn from the judge’s careful findings, none of which the Commonwealth has demonstrated to be clearly erroneous. At approximately 2:00 A.M. on March 11, 2013, the defendant was walking alone along Humphreys Street toward Humphreys Place.  There, he was spotted by Boston police Officers Dodd and Conley who, dressed in plain clothes, were traveling in an unmarked police cruiser.  As the judge found, the officers had not “been dispatched to the area for a specific report of a crime or otherwise”; instead they were on routine patrol “in the area they covered.”  When they saw the defendant, they did not recognize him or “know him from any prior interactions.”  Rather, to them, “[h]e was just a person walking on the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 1, 2015 at 12:53 am

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