Posts tagged "Castano"

Commonwealth v. Castano (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-158-17)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12090   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  FRANKLIN CASTANO.       Essex.     April 7, 2017. – October 6, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Homicide.  Firearms.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel, Harmless error.  Error, Harmless.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Assistance of counsel, Harmless error, Hearsay, State of mind.  Evidence, Hearsay, State of mind, Motive, Expert opinion, Qualification of expert witness.  Witness, Expert.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 24, 2014.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Timothy Q. Feeley, J., and the cases were tried before Mary K. Ames, J.     Elizabeth Caddick for the defendant. Marcia H. Slingerland, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          CYPHER, J.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation, G. L. c. 265, § 1, and of unlawful possession of a firearm, G. L. c. 269, § 10 (h).[1]  The defendant advances five arguments on appeal:  (1) his statements to police about the location of the gun involved in the case should have been suppressed; (2) the trial judge improperly admitted hearsay statements as motive evidence; (3) the Commonwealth’s ballistics expert was not competent to testify about the trajectory of the shot that killed the victim; (4) the defendant was deprived of his right to counsel because his relationship with his attorney had deteriorated; and (5) the interests of justice require this court to exercise its power, under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the conviction to murder in the second degree.  For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the convictions and decline to exercise our authority under § 33E. Background.  On the morning of February 20, 2014, the defendant, accompanied by two friends, walked into the Lynn police station.  One of the friends, Alvaro Garcia, informed police that the defendant’s girl friend was dead and that the defendant had killed her.  The defendant was placed under arrest, and police responded to the Peabody apartment that the defendant shared with his girl friend.  There, they found her dead with a gunshot wound to the head.  Two spent casings were found nearby, but no firearm was observed or recovered. The events immediately following the defendant’s arrival at the police station were the subject of a […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 6, 2017 at 5:34 pm

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