Posts tagged "Morin"

Commonwealth v. Morin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-188-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11591   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  AARON MORIN.       Bristol.     May 5, 2017. – November 21, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, & Gaziano, JJ.[1]     Homicide.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Robbery.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding, New trial, Assistance of counsel, Instructions to jury, Warrant, Capital case.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel, Search and seizure, Probable cause.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel.  Search and Seizure, Warrant, Probable cause.  Probable Cause.  Cellular Telephone.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on February 9, 2010.   The case tried before Robert J. Kane, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on August 4, 2014, was heard by him.     Robert F. Shaw, Jr., for the defendant. Mary E. O’Neil, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Chauncey B. Wood, K. Neil Austin, Christopher E. Hart, & Kelly S. Caiazzo, for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GAZIANO, J.  A Superior Court jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder, with unarmed robbery as the predicate felony, in the death of Chad Fleming on November 3, 2009.  At trial, the Commonwealth’s theory was that the defendant, along with his codefendant, Nelson Melo, and two unknown accomplices, robbed the victim of drugs and money, and that the killing occurred in connection with the robbery.[2]  The defendant argues in this appeal, as he did in his motion for a new trial, that trial counsel’s failure to file a motion to suppress the search of the defendant’s cellular telephone constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.  In addition, the defendant raises the following claims of error at trial:  (1) the evidence was insufficient for a jury to find that the victim’s death was connected to the robbery or that the unarmed robbery was committed with conscious disregard for the risk to human life; (2) the instruction on felony-murder was erroneous; and (3) the judge abused his discretion in excluding testimony concerning a statement made by the victim.  Finally, the defendant contends that this court should abolish the common-law felony-murder rule. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction, but that the defendant is entitled to a new trial because his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to have filed a motion to suppress the search […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm

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