Posts tagged "1114413"

Commonwealth v. Saulnier (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-144-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑931                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DAVID J. SAULNIER.       No. 12‑P‑931. Middlesex.     September 23, 2013.  ‑  December 6, 2013. Present:  Meade, Milkey, & Hanlon, JJ.   Motor Vehicle, Operating under the influence.  Intoxication.  Evidence, Intoxication, Opinion.  Witness, Police officer.  Practice, Criminal, Witness, Waiver of trial by jury, Bifurcated trial.  Waiver.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Waltham Division of the District Court Department on August 24, 2010.   The case was heard by Tobin N. Harvey, J.     Thomas J. Chirokas for the defendant. Moire V. Dobransky, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     HANLON, J.  After a jury-waived trial in the District Court, the defendant was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, fourth offense.[1]  On appeal, he argues that the trial judge permitted a police officer to give improper opinion testimony on the ultimate issue, and that his conviction should be vacated because he did not waive his right to a jury trial on the subsequent offense portion of the trial.  For the reasons that follow, we affirm. Background.  The judge heard the following facts.  On August 23, 2010, at approximately 7 P.M., the defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Main Street in Waltham.  A witness testified that she saw the defendant drive a vehicle away from Gordon’s Liquor Store and then travel diagonally across two lanes of traffic and into her lane, where it “smashed into the driver’s side headlight area of [her] car.”  Afterwards, her car was inoperable.  The witness’s boyfriend, who had been driving her car, called the police; the witness saw the defendant “rocking back and forth,” saying, “I’m so fucked, I’m so fucked.” Waltham police Officer Anthony Scichilone responded to the scene and observed the witness’s motor vehicle stopped in traffic.  He spoke with the defendant, who told him that the witness’s car had struck him; however, according to the officer, the witness’s car was in the proper lane.  During the conversation, the officer noticed that the defendant had “a moderate odor of alcohol coming from his breath, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, he had slurred speech, and to me he looked impaired. . . .  He was unsteady on his feet and when he approached the sidewalk he stumbled off the sidewalk.”  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm

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