Posts tagged "Dobson"

Commonwealth v. Dobson (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-130-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   16-P-670                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JANERA W. DOBSON.     No. 16-P-670.   Suffolk.     March 10, 2017. – October 3, 2017.   Present:  Milkey, Hanlon, & Lemire, JJ.     Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.  Parent and Child, Discipline.  Child Abuse.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on May 5, 2014.   The case was heard by Catherine K. Byrne, J.     Peter A. O’Karma for the defendant. Kathryn E. Leary, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     HANLON, J.  On December 16, 2014, following a jury-waived trial in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court, the defendant, Janera W. Dobson, was convicted of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon; she had been charged with striking her five year old child in the face with a leather belt.  See G. L. c. 265, § 15A(b).  On appeal, she contends that the Commonwealth failed to prove that her behavior was not privileged as parental discipline.  We affirm. Background.  We recite the facts as the judge could have found them.  At approximately 5:20 P.M. on May 2, 2014, Boston Police Officer Brendon Cahill received a radio call to respond to an incident at 45 School Street, in the Dorchester section of Boston.  There, he encountered a five year old child and his father standing outside the building.  The child had a four-inch-long straight red mark on his leg, and another red mark on his face.[1]  After speaking to the father, Cahill entered a second-floor apartment at 45 School Street and spoke with the child’s mother, the defendant.  She told him that she had struck her child with a belt in an attempt to discipline him, and that she had intended to hit his buttocks, but had missed and hit him in the face.  Cahill requested that detectives come to the scene to photograph the child’s injuries. The defendant was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, a belt.  At trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence consisted of Cahill’s testimony and three black and white photographs of the child with the marks; the defendant offered only her own testimony.  She testified that she had “spanked [her son] with a belt” because “in his [kindergarten] classroom there were people […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

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