Posts tagged "Caruso"

Commonwealth v. Caruso (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-013-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-09656   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  STEVEN CARUSO.       Middlesex.     September 9, 2016. – January 13, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Assistance of counsel.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Information stored on computer, Of agency, Prior consistent statement, Testimony at prior proceeding, Videotape, Impeachment of credibility.  Agency, What constitutes.  Witness, Expert, Impeachment.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Confrontation of witnesses, Assistance of counsel.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 23, 2000.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Charles M. Grabau, J., and the case was tried before him.     David A.F. Lewis for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney (Elizabeth Dunigan, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.     LOWY, J.  On January 20, 2000, Sandra Berfield, the victim, received a package containing a pipe bomb, which exploded when she opened it, blowing her body asunder and killing her instantly.  A jury in the Superior Court found the defendant, Steven Caruso, guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity and cruelty. The defendant appeals from his conviction, claiming that (1) the admission of testimony by a jailhouse informant violated the defendant’s confrontation rights; (2) a ballistics expert improperly testified to a report prepared by an unavailable expert; (3) the testimony of the Commonwealth’s wire expert should have been excluded; (4) the Commonwealth failed to establish adequately the reliability of computer forensics evidence; and (5) the admission of the victim’s prior recorded testimony and limitations on the defendant’s ability to attack its veracity violated the defendant’s confrontation rights.  We conclude that no reversible error occurred, and we affirm the jury’s verdict. Background.  We recite the facts the jury could have reasonably found in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, reserving certain details for our analysis of the issues. Defendant’s relationship with victim.  The defendant was a long-time regular customer at a restaurant in Medford where the victim worked as a server.  The defendant often patronized the restaurant more than once daily, and typically requested a particular server.  When the defendant became angry after a long wait for his previously preferred server, the victim became the defendant’s server of choice.  The defendant and the victim established an amicable […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm

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MacDonald v. Caruso (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-039-14)

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‑11381   TRACY MacDONALD  vs.  KEVIN CARUSO. Plymouth.     November 4, 2013.  ‑  March 11, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Abuse Prevention.  Practice, Civil, Presumptions and burden of proof.  Evidence, Presumptions and burden of proof.  Probate Court, General equity power.       Complaint for protection from abuse filed in the Plymouth Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on June 25, 1999.   A motion to terminate an abuse prevention order, filed on May 20, 2011, was heard by Lisa A. Roberts, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Thomas Arthur Hensley for the defendant. Claire Laporte, Rebecca Cazabon, Stacy Anderson, Benjamin Nardone, & Shrutih Ramlochan-Tewarie, for The Domestic & Sexual Violence Counsel, Inc., & others,  amici curiae, submitted a brief.       GANTS, J.  The central issue in this case is the standard to be applied when a defendant seeks to terminate a permanent abuse prevention order under G. L. c. 209A, § 3.  We conclude that a defendant who seeks to terminate such an order must show by clear and convincing evidence that, as a result of a significant change in circumstances, it is no longer equitable for the order to continue because the protected party no longer has a reasonable fear of imminent serious physical harm.  Having considered the evidence presented here in support of the defendant’s motion to terminate the permanent order, in light of the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that the judge did not abuse her discretion in denying the motion. Background.  According to the complaint and affidavit filed by the plaintiff, Tracy MacDonald, on June 25, 1999, in support of her application for an ex parte temporary restraining order under G. L. c. 209A, § 4, against the defendant, Kevin James Caruso, the plaintiff had obtained an “order of protection” in the State of New York against the defendant in March, 1994.  She left New York, where she had resided, on November 6, 1995, because the defendant threatened to kill her, and she has not lived in New York since that date.  On June 1, 1999, she began receiving “odd mail” in Massachusetts, where she resided, postmarked in the region where the defendant then resided, stating that she had inquired about numerous products; one […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Caruso (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-019-14)

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‑1096                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  STEVEN CARUSO. No. 12‑P‑1096. Middlesex.     November 15, 2013.  ‑  February 28, 2014. Present:  Kafker, Milkey, & Hines, JJ.   Practice, Criminal, New trial.  Evidence, Computer simulation.     Complaint received and sworn to in the Malden Division of the District Court Department on November 5, 1998.   A motion for a new trial, filed on March 18, 2008, was heard by Gregory C. Flynn, J., and motions for expert funds were also heard by him.     David A.F. Lewis for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       MILKEY, J.  In 1999, following a jury trial in District Court, the defendant was convicted of two counts of malicious destruction of property (a car), G. L. c. 266, § 127.  In 2001, this court affirmed those convictions in an unpublished memorandum and order.  Commonwealth v. Caruso, 52 Mass. App. Ct. 1101 (2001).  Seven years later, after the defendant was convicted of murdering the owner of the damaged car, he filed a motion for new trial.  He argued that newly discovered evidence definitively proved that he could not have been the person who damaged the car.  That motion was heard and denied by the trial judge, who issued a forty-one page decision that explained his reasoning in thoughtful detail.  For the reasons set forth below, we agree with the judge that the material on which the defendant relies does not constitute “newly discovered evidence.”  We also agree that this “evidence” — while of some superficial force — does not cast any “real doubt on the justice of the conviction.”  Commonwealth v. Grace, 397 Mass. 303, 305 (1986).  We therefore affirm. Background.  We summarize the key trial evidence as follows.  The victim was Sandra Berfield, who lived in Everett.  On four separate occasions during the fall of 1998, someone caused serious damage to her car while it was parked on the street next to her home.  In the first two incidents, all four of Berfield’s tires were slashed; in the second two, battery acid was poured into her gas tank.  The dispute at trial was over the identity of the perpetrator.   Berfield worked at a Bickford’s restaurant in Medford.  The defendant patronized the restaurant with pronounced regularity, eating there once or twice virtually every day.  Beginning in 1996, the defendant insisted on […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,