Posts tagged "1109414"

Commonwealth v. Murphy (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-094-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   12-P-1634                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  THOMAS MURPHY. No. 12-P-1634. Middlesex.     October 9, 2013.  –  August 12, 2014. Present:  Cypher, Katzmann, & Maldonado, JJ. Practice, Criminal, Jury and jurors, Voir dire, Required finding.  Constitutional Law, Impartial tribunal, Jury.  Jury and Jurors.  Breaking and Entering.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 30, 2009.   The cases were tried before S. Jane Haggerty, J.     Kenneth I. Seiger for the defendant. Kimberly Rugo, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.      KATZMANN, J.  The primary issue in this appeal arises from the denial of the defendant’s request for a postverdict hearing regarding the potential partiality of a juror.  The defendant was convicted by a jury of four counts of breaking and entering, three counts of larceny, and three counts of malicious destruction of property emerging from incidents at four gas stations.  Shortly after the jury trial, the prosecutor reported to the Superior Court judge that, after the verdict, a juror spoke to the proprietor of one of those gas stations — Welch’s Automotive in Littleton –- who was also a witness at trial.  The trial judge denied the defendant’s request for a postverdict evidentiary inquiry.  The defendant appeals, seeking such a hearing on remand, and further claiming that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of breaking and entering at Welch’s Automotive.  We affirm. Background.  Between September, 2007, and May, 2008, a spate of break-ins occurred at gas stations in the adjacent towns of Littleton, Boxborough, and Westford, and the nearby town of Concord.[1]  On September 18, 2007, the incident that is the heart of this case occurred.  An alarm at Welch’s Automotive Services (Welch’s), a gas station and garage in Littleton, automatically notified the Littleton Police Department.  When Sergeant Robert Raffalo arrived at Welch’s, he investigated together with the owner of the gas station, Mark Shapiro, who was notified as well.  They discovered that a ground-level panel from one of the garage doors appeared to have been kicked in and was lying on the ground.  There was a footprint on the panel with a distinctive pattern on it, which investigators later matched to the sneakers of the defendant.  No other property was taken or damaged.[2]  A jury convicted the defendant of breaking and entering.[3] We briefly summarize the facts of the additional incidents because […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

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