Posts tagged "1116716"

Commonwealth v. Long (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-167-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-925                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DAMIEN LONG.     No. 15-P-925.   Plymouth.     September 14, 2016. – November 23, 2016.   Present:  Green, Wolohojian, & Massing, JJ.     Larceny.  False Pretenses.  Intent.  Evidence, Intent.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Plymouth Division of the District Court Department on December 16, 2011.   The case was tried before James M. Sullivan, J.     Amy Muscato-Wolter for the defendant. Jessica Heaton, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     MASSING, J.  The defendant, Damien Long, prepared an estimate to do some home improvement work for a married couple, who owned a house in Marshfield.  He cashed their deposit check, bought some supplies, performed a few days of minimal work that was not to the homeowners’ satisfaction, and then abandoned the job.  A week later he slipped a final invoice under the door, purporting to show that the homeowners owed him money.  On those facts, he was charged and convicted in District Court, after a jury trial, of larceny over $ 250 by false pretenses.[1]  To sustain the conviction, the Commonwealth was required to prove that at the time the defendant promised the homeowners he would do the work, inducing them to write him a check, he did so with the intention of never performing the job.  Because we conclude that the evidence did not establish that essential element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, we reverse. Background.  We begin by summarizing the facts presented in the Commonwealth’s case-in-chief in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth.  See Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 677 (1979).  Joseph and Maryann Watts,[2] the homeowners, wanted new windows, new window sills, a new sliding door, and some other minor improvements done on their house in Marshfield.  Joseph made some calls and eventually contacted the defendant.  On September 23, 2011, the defendant met the Wattses at their house to discuss the work they wanted done.  They agreed on a price of about $ 32,000 for the entire project, and Joseph gave the defendant a check for $ 11,800, dated either September 25 or 26, 2011, as a down payment.  The deposit was for “purchasing the windows and getting those in,” as well as the “trim and all that stuff [the defendant] need[ed] to finish it.”  The […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 23, 2016 at 10:48 pm

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