Posts tagged "Carter"

Commonwealth v. Carter (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-150-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-11525   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  VERNON T. CARTER.       Plymouth.     April 8, 2016. – September 19, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Duffly, & Hines, JJ.[1]     Homicide.  Robbery.  Firearms.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Assault and Battery.  Joint Enterprise.  Identification.  Evidence, Identification, Joint venturer.  Intoxication.  Constitutional Law, Right to bear arms.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Duplicative convictions, Witness, Assistance of counsel, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury, Conduct of judge.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 30, 2009.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Thomas F. McGuire, Jr., J., and the cases were tried before Raymond P. Veary, Jr., J.     Russell C. Sobelman for the defendant. Gail M. McKenna, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     HINES, J.  In April, 2013, a jury convicted the defendant, Vernon T. Carter, of murder in the first degree of Scott Monteiro on a theory of felony-murder, based on the predicate felony of armed robbery.[2]  The defendant was also convicted of armed robbery, assault and battery of Sheldon Santos, possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition.[3]  On appeal, the defendant asserts error in (1) admission of identifications obtained through procedures alleged to be suggestive; (2) testimony from a last-minute Commonwealth witness; (3) the prosecutor’s closing argument; (4) omission of jury instructions regarding involuntary manslaughter, “humane practice,” and intoxication; (5) judicial bias; and (6) firearms-related convictions without evidence that he was not licensed.[4]  The defendant also argues that he is entitled to relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We vacate, as duplicative, the defendant’s armed robbery conviction, because it was the predicate felony for his felony-murder conviction, the only theory on which the jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree.  See Commonwealth v. Alcequiecz, 465 Mass. 557, 558 (2013).  We affirm the defendant’s remaining convictions, and we discern no other basis to exercise our authority pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Background.  We summarize the evidence as the jury could have found it, reserving certain facts for later discussion.  At approximately 10 P.M. on Friday, September 4, 2009, a group of twenty to thirty people, in their late teens or early twenties and generally from the Wareham area, gathered at a residence in Wareham for a “house party.”  People were socializing and drinking, “[j]ust teenage and adolescent kids […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 19, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Carter (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-091-16)

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   SJC-12043   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MICHELLE CARTER.       Suffolk.     April 7, 2016. – July 1, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Youthful Offender Act.  Grand Jury.  Evidence, Grand jury proceedings.  Practice, Criminal, Grand jury proceedings.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on October 22, 2015.   The case was reported by Botsford, J.     Dana Alan Curhan (Joseph P. Cataldo with him) for the defendant. Shoshana E. Stern, Assistant District Attorney (Katie Cook Rayburn, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth. Eva G. Jellison & David J. Nathanson, for Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     CORDY, J.  On February 6, 2015, the defendant, Michelle Carter, was indicted as a youthful offender under G. L. c. 119, § 54, on a charge of involuntary manslaughter after she, at the age of seventeen, encouraged Conrad Roy (the victim), then eighteen years of age, to commit suicide.  To indict a juvenile as a youthful offender, the grand jury must hear evidence establishing probable cause that (1) the juvenile is between the ages of fourteen and eighteen at the time of the underlying offense; (2) the underlying offense, if committed by an adult, would be punishable by imprisonment in State prison; and (3) the underlying offense involves the infliction or threat of serious bodily harm.  G. L. c. 119, § 54.  The defendant moved in the Juvenile Court to dismiss the youthful offender indictment, arguing that the Commonwealth failed to present the grand jury with sufficient evidence of involuntary manslaughter and that the defendant’s conduct did not involve the infliction or threat of serious bodily harm.  The motion was denied. The principal question we consider in this case is whether the evidence was sufficient to warrant the return of an indictment for involuntary manslaughter where the defendant’s conduct did not extend beyond words.  We conclude that, on the evidence presented to the grand jury, the verbal conduct at issue was sufficient and, because a conviction of involuntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in State prison and inherently involves the infliction of serious bodily harm, the grand jury properly returned an indictment under the youthful offender statute.  Accordingly, we affirm the order of the Juvenile Court.[1] […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 1, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,