Posts tagged "Howard"

Commonwealth v. Howard (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-036-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12199   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CLYDE HOWARD.       Middlesex.     December 8, 2017. – March 5, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, & Cypher, JJ.     Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Instructions to jury, Lesser included offense, Capital case, Jury and jurors.  Jury and Jurors.  Evidence, Prior misconduct.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 19, 2009.   Following review by this court, 469 Mass. 721 (2014), the case was tried before Brian A. Davis, J.     Sharon Dehmand for the defendant. Jamie Michael Charles, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GAZIANO, J.  On January 28, 2009, a heated argument between the defendant and a coworker, Maurice Ricketts (victim), escalated into a fatal shooting.  At trial, there was no dispute that the defendant had shot the victim; the issue before the jury was the defendant’s state of mind and whether the shooting had been in response to some form of reasonable provocation. A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation.[1]  In this direct appeal from his conviction, the defendant challenges the judge’s decision not to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter based on sudden combat; the adequacy of the instructions on reasonable provocation and lesser included offenses; the dismissal of an empanelled juror shortly before deliberations began; and the judge’s decision to allow the introduction of prior bad act evidence.[2]  The defendant also asks this court to exercise its extraordinary authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, and reduce the verdict to murder in the second degree or manslaughter.  For the reasons that follow, we affirm the defendant’s conviction and, after a thorough review of the entire trial record, decline to allow relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Facts.  We recite the facts the jury could have found, reserving other facts for our discussion of specific issues.  In January, 2009, the defendant and the victim were coworkers at a pool supply distributor.  The defendant, a janitor and handyman, had been employed there for over eleven years.  In 2007, the distributor hired the victim to work as an “order puller”; this position involved working in the warehouse, assembling products to fill customer orders. Over the course of the victim’s employment, the defendant, who was sixty-five years old, and the […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Howard (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-166-14)

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-11128   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CLYDE HOWARD.       Middlesex.    February 7, 2014. – October 2, 2014.   Present:  Spina, Botsford, Gants, & Lenk, JJ.   Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver of constitutional rights, Harmless error.  Waiver.  Error, Harmless.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Prior misconduct, Argument by prosecutor, Intoxication.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver, Harmless error, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 19, 2009.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Wendie I. Gershengorn, J., and the cases were tried before her.     Robert F. Shaw, Jr., for the defendant. Jamie M. Charles, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     BOTSFORD, J.  A Superior Court jury found the defendant, Clyde Howard, guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty.[1]  The defendant appeals his conviction, arguing that:  (1) the motion judge erred in denying his pretrial motion to suppress statements that he made to police both on the day of his arrest and on the following day during an interview with police;(2) the Commonwealth impermissibly focused on prior bad acts and character evidence during trial; (3) statements made by the prosecutor during his closing argument prejudiced the defendant and warrant a new trial; and (4) the jury instructions on mental impairment and the voluntariness of the defendant’s statements were erroneous and warrant reversal of his convictions.  Pursuant to our review of the entire case under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, we conclude that the erroneous admission of portions of the defendant’s statement to the police, combined with other errors, require reversal of the defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree.  On remand, at the Commonwealth’s option, a verdict of murder in the second degree may be entered in lieu of a new trial on the first degree murder indictment. 1.  Background.  We recite the facts as the jury could have found them, reserving other facts for later discussion.  On the morning of January 28, 2009, the victim, Maurice Ricketts, was shot in the head and killed while at his job at Baystate Pool Supplies (Baystate), a pool supply distributor located in Cambridge.  He was shot by the defendant, who worked at […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,