Posts tagged "Knowles"

Commonwealth v. Knowles (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-004-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   16-P-1409                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LAWRENCE KNOWLES.     No. 16-P-1409.   Suffolk.     November 3, 2017. – January 10, 2018.   Present:  Wolohojian, Massing, & Wendlandt, JJ.     Witness, Cross-examination.  Practice, Criminal, Cross-examination by prosecutor, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver of constitutional rights.  Waiver.  Evidence, Cross-examination, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on January 15, 2014.   The case was tried before Tracy-Lee Lyons, J.   A motion to stay execution of sentence, filed in the Appeals Court on June 24, 2016, was heard by Carhart, J.     Lauren A. Montana for the defendant. Paul B. Linn, Assistant District Attorney (Amanda Read Cascione, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.     MASSING, J.  This appeal requires us to apply the rule prohibiting cross-examination by innuendo, most recently enunciated in Commonwealth v. Peck, 86 Mass. App. Ct. 34 (2014) (Peck), to the cross-examination of three defense witnesses:  an expert witness, a lay witness, and the defendant himself. A jury in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department found the defendant guilty of two counts of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in violation of G. L. c. 269, § 10(a), (n).  The primary issues at trial were whether the defendant knowingly possessed the two firearms found near his truck and, in this regard, whether his threatening statements to police officers and subsequent waiver of his Miranda rights were voluntary.  We conclude that the prosecutor’s cross-examination of the defendant was proper and that the cross-examination of the defendant’s lay witness was improper but not prejudicial.  We further hold that Peck does not apply to the cross-examination of expert witnesses and that the defendant’s statements and Miranda waiver were voluntary.[1]  Accordingly, we affirm. Background.  1.  Commonwealth’s case.  At 2:45 A.M. on January 12, 2014, Boston police Officers Mario Santillana and Jose Acosta were dispatched to the parking lot behind a building on Centre Street in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston.  The defendant was seated in the driver’s seat of a parked red truck, alone, crouched down with his hands folded under his arms, staring straight ahead.  Santillana knocked on the closed window to get the defendant’s attention.  The defendant muttered […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm

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