Posts tagged "1110516"

Commonwealth v. Brantley (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-105-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-44                                         Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  SEAN BRANTLEY.       August 18, 2016.     Arrest.  Constitutional Law, Arrest, Investigatory stop, Stop and frisk, Assistance of counsel, Search and seizure.  Search and Seizure, Arrest, Inventory, Automobile.  Name.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress, Required finding, Instructions to jury, New trial, Assistance of counsel.     The defendant, Sean Brantley, appeals from the judgments after his convictions by a Superior Court jury of possession of cocaine and furnishing a false name to a law enforcement officer.[1]  The defendant contends that (1) his motion to suppress evidence should have been allowed; (2) the evidence was insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of furnishing a false name; (3) the jury instructions on furnishing a false name were incorrect; and (4) defense counsel was ineffective because he improperly conceded the defendant’s guilt to furnishing a false name.  We discuss the facts where relevant.   Motion to suppress.  The defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence on the grounds that the search and seizure of the defendant and his vehicle were not based on reasonable suspicion or probable cause.  After an evidentiary hearing, the motion judge denied the motion and made the following findings:   “In this matter, Commonwealth vs. Sean Brantley, the court finds Sgt. Toledo credible.  I credit his testimony in its entirety.  I adopt his testimony as the court’s findings of fact.  Based on those findings, I find that Sgt. Toledo ha[d] reasonable suspicions, based on specific and articulated facts, to stop the motor vehicle for its failure to stop for a stop sign.   “I then find significantly that the officer on multiple occasions ordered the defendant to stop and that the defendant, in fact, fled from that particular location.   “Consequently, I find that the search of his person was a valid search, incident to arrest, and that the inventory search was similarly valid, consistent with the written inventory policy of the Springfield Police Department.”[2]   The defendant argues that he did not commit an arrestable offense and therefore the search could not be justified as a search incident to arrest.  Here, the initial stop of the defendant’s vehicle was valid as a routine traffic stop.  The stop was no longer routine once the defendant, after stopping, backed up the vehicle three to five feet in the direction […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 19, 2016 at 1:16 am

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