Posts tagged "Higgins"

Commonwealth v. Higgins (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-073-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;     13‑P‑924                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JEROME HIGGINS. No. 13‑P‑924. Suffolk.     March 26, 2014.  ‑  June 25, 2014. Present:  Milkey, Brown, & Maldonado, JJ. Dangerous Weapon.  Evidence, Knife.   Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on October 27, 2009.   The case was tried before Thomas E. Connolly, J.     Jon R. Maddox for the defendant. Zachary Hillman, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       MILKEY, J.  Following a jury trial in Superior Court, the defendant was convicted of violating G. L. c. 269, § 10(b), by carrying a dangerous weapon (a knife).[1]  Because we agree with the defendant that the evidence was insufficient to prove that his knife was of the type prohibited by the statute, we reverse the judgment and set aside the verdict. Background.  On September 5, 2009, Boston police officers, who were investigating a stabbing that had occurred earlier that day, arrested the defendant at his residence.  After the arrest, the defendant acknowledged that he owned a knife, while denying that he had used the knife in any stabbing.  The police “froze[]” the scene, obtained a search warrant, and retrieved the knife from the defendant’s bedroom.  The knife, which was admitted in evidence, is a folding knife that has a blade that locks into place.  Further characteristics of the knife are reserved for later discussion. For the stabbing, the defendant was charged with aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, G. L. c. 265, § 15A(c).  That charge was the centerpiece of the trial.  Thus, for example, both closing arguments focused exclusively on whether it was the defendant who had stabbed the victim.  The defendant was also charged with violating G. L. c. 269, § 10(b), for carrying the knife on his person.  The jury acquitted the defendant of the aggravated assault and battery charge, but convicted him of carrying a dangerous weapon. Discussion.  Section 10(b) of G. L. c. 269 makes it illegal for anyone to carry certain kinds of knives.  See Commonwealth v. Miller, 22 Mass. App. Ct. 694 (1986); Commonwealth v. Garcia, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 239, 242-249 (2012).  The question before us is whether there was sufficient evidence that the defendant’s knife fell within one of the designated categories outlawed by the statute.  In determining the sufficiency of the evidence, we must of course consider “whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 26, 2014 at 7:52 am

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