Posts tagged "Alcide"

Commonwealth v. Alcide (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-118-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-10342   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JIMMY ALCIDE. Middlesex.     March 6, 2015. – July 13, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Assistance of counsel, Identification of defendant in courtroom.  Identification.  Evidence, Third-party culprit, Identification.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 21, 2006.   The case was tried before S. Jane Haggerty, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on October 26, 2011, was heard by her.     Matthew A. Kamholtz for the defendant. Kevin J. Curtin, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     LENK, J.  Sharif Shaheed was shot and killed in the aftermath of an argument between two groups of friends outside a Lowell pub.  The defendant, charged with Shaheed’s murder, posited at trial that a third party had been the shooter.  A Superior Court jury returned a conviction of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation.  The defendant filed a motion for a new trial, asserting, among other things, that his trial counsel provided constitutionally ineffective assistance.  The motion was denied by the judge who had presided at trial.  Before us is a consolidated appeal from the defendant’s conviction and from the denial of his motion for a new trial. There is no dispute that the defendant’s counsel did not prepare for trial in an adequate manner.  Among other things, defense counsel did not familiarize himself with the Commonwealth’s discovery file, did not examine the physical evidence collected by police, did not conduct any independent investigation of the case, and did not consider seeking exclusion of any of the Commonwealth’s evidence.  Because of counsel’s inadequate preparation, significant pieces of evidence supporting a third-party culprit defense were not introduced at trial.  In addition, two in-court identifications of the defendant were admitted that, if objected to, could have been excluded.  Although the case against the defendant was a strong one, it was not overwhelming, and we are persuaded that “better work might have accomplished something material for the defense.”  Commonwealth v. Bell, 460 Mass. 294, 303 (2011), quoting Commonwealth v. Johnson, 435 Mass. 113, 123 (2001).  In essence, the defense available to the defendant was aired so inadequately at trial as to create a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 13, 2015 at 4:50 pm

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