Posts tagged "Santana"

Commonwealth v. Santana (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-133-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-12039   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CESAR SANTANA.       Essex.     January 10, 2017. – August 17, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, & Gaziano, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Hearsay, Expert opinion.  Witness, Expert.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Motion to suppress, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Mistrial, Argument by prosecutor, Plea.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 12, 2008.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence, filed on June 8, 2009, and amended October 3, 2011, was heard by Kimberly S. Budd, J.; a second pretrial motion to suppress evidence, filed on April 12, 2012, was heard by Howard J. Whitehead, J.; a third pretrial motion to suppress evidence, filed on June 4, 2013, was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J.; and the cases were tried before David A. Lowy, J.     Elizabeth Caddick for the defendant. Kenneth E. Steinfield, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          HINES, J.  In January, 2014, a Superior Court jury convicted the defendant, Cesar Santana, of murder in the first degree of Rafael Castro, on the theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder with home invasion and armed burglary, assault on occupant as the predicate felonies.  On appeal, the defendant asserts error in (1) the denial of his motion to suppress statements; (2) the admission of hearsay testimony from various witnesses; (3) the denial of a requested DiGiambattista jury instruction; (4) the denial of the motion for a mistrial following the jury’s exposure to inadmissible evidence; and (5) certain improper statements made in the prosecutor’s closing argument.  The defendant also requests that we exercise our authority pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the murder conviction or to order a new trial.  We affirm the defendant’s convictions and decline to grant relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Background.  1.  The murder.  We summarize the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain details for our discussion of the alleged errors.  On the night of August 25, 2004, Norma Cedeno and her stepfather, Rafael Castro, were attacked by a group of men as the two entered Castro’s Lawrence apartment.[1] Cedeno, who entered the apartment first and did not turn on any lights, walked to the bathroom, where she […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 18, 2017 at 9:21 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Santana v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-138-16)

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   15-P-275                                        Appeals Court   TEMISTOCLES OMAR SANTANA  vs.  COMMONWEALTH.     No. 15-P-275.   Essex.     January 8, 2016. – September 30, 2016.   Present:  Trainor, Agnes, & Massing, JJ.     Erroneous Conviction.  Commonwealth, Claim against.  Practice, Civil, Proceeding against Commonwealth, Summary judgment, Instructions to jury.  Rape.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 18, 2012.   The case was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J., on motions for summary judgment.     William S. Smith (Jennifer H. O’Brien with him) for the plaintiff. Jennifer H. Flynn, Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth.     AGNES, J.  The question before us is whether the plaintiff, Temistocles Omar Santana, is eligible to bring a claim for relief under the erroneous conviction statute, G. L. c. 258D, because his conviction was reversed due to the effect of an improper jury instruction.[1]  The plaintiff contends that he is eligible to bring such a claim because he was granted judicial relief “on grounds which tend to establish the [plaintiff’s] innocence.”  G. L. c. 258D, § 1(B)(ii).  We disagree, and affirm the judgment that entered on the parties’ on cross motions for summary judgment. Background.  In 2009, the plaintiff and another (the codefendant) were each indicted as youthful offenders on three indictments charging aggravated rape by joint venture and one indictment of assault with intent to commit rape.[2]  The cases were tried together.  The trial judge instructed the jury on the lesser included offenses of rape on each of the three charges of aggravated rape.  The jury returned a single verdict of guilty of rape against the plaintiff on the count charging him as a joint venturer in which it was alleged that the crime was committed by means of the codefendant’s penis.[3]  The plaintiff was acquitted on all other charges.  The plaintiff was sentenced to a term of four to six years in State prison.  The plaintiff was released from prison in April, 2011, as the result of a decision by a panel of this court which determined that the judge should not have instructed the jury on the lesser included offense of rape, and that “no rational view of the evidence” supported the jury’s verdict that the plaintiff was guilty of rape, but not aggravated rape.[4] Discussion.   The erroneous conviction statute, G. L. c. 258D, §§ 1-9, represents a limited waiver of the Commonwealth’s sovereign […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Santana v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-165-15)

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   14-P-923                                        Appeals Court   ANGEL SANTANA  vs.  COMMONWEALTH. No. 14-P-923. Essex.     September 2, 2015. – October 19, 2015.   Present:  Berry, Grainger, & Sullivan, JJ.     Erroneous Conviction.  Commonwealth, Claim against.  Evidence, Constructive possession.  Practice, Civil, Proceeding against Commonwealth, Judgment on the pleadings, Interlocutory appeal.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 19, 2012.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, and a motion for reconsideration was considered by him.     Jeffrey T. Collins, Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth. John J. Hightower for the plaintiff.      SULLIVAN, J.  After a jury trial in Superior Court, Angel Santana was convicted of trafficking cocaine in the amount of fourteen to less than twenty-eight grams, in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32E(b), and trafficking in cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school zone, in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32J.  This court vacated the judgments, concluding that the evidence was insufficient to establish that Santana constructively possessed the cocaine.[1]  Santana subsequently filed a complaint pursuant to G. L. c. 258D, the erroneous conviction statute.  After discovery, the Commonwealth moved for judgment on the pleadings, contending that Santana failed to meet the threshold requirement of eligibility to pursue relief under the erroneous conviction statute.  In a comprehensive and well-reasoned memorandum, the motion judge denied the motion, concluding that the lack of evidence of constructive possession tended to establish actual innocence of the underlying crime, and that Santana was therefore eligible for relief under the statute.[2]  The Commonwealth appeals from the motion judge’s order denying its motion for reconsideration under the doctrine of present execution.[3]  See Irwin v. Commonwealth, 465 Mass. 834, 835 (2013).  We affirm. Discussion.  The class of claimants eligible for relief under the erroneous conviction statute includes only those “who have been granted judicial relief by a state court of competent jurisdiction, on grounds which tend to establish the innocence of the individual.”  G. L. c. 258D, § 1(B)(ii), inserted by St. 2004, c. 444, § 1.  If this threshold requirement is met, the claimant must then “establish at trial, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she did not commit the offense charged.”  Renaud v. Commonwealth, 471 Mass. 315, 317-318 (2015) (holding that insufficient evidence alone may be a ground for a wrongful conviction complaint, when considered in the context of […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Santana (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-093-13)

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‑08782   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  RAMON SANTANA.     Hampden.     September 7, 2012.  ‑  May 29, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Cordy, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Homicide.  Armed Assault with Intent to Murder.  Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.  Armed Home Invasion.  Firearms.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver of constitutional rights, Assistance of counsel, Witness, Identification.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel, Disclosure of evidence, Identification.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Admission by silence, Disclosure of evidence, Identification.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of confession, Waiver, Assistance of counsel, Arraignment, Disclosure of evidence, Identification of defendant in courtroom, Capital case.  Search and Seizure, Inventory.  Waiver.  Identification.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 7, 2000.   The cases were tried before Daniel A. Ford, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on July 21, 2009, was heard by him.     David J. Nathanson (Dan A. Horowitz with him) for the defendant. Jane Davidson Montori, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       LENK, J.  In February, 2001, a Superior Court jury convicted the defendant on two indictments charging murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder.  The jury also found the defendant guilty of armed assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, armed home invasion, and possession of a firearm without a license.  The defendant appeals from his convictions and from the denial of his motion for a new trial. The defendant claims that the admission of his oral and written statements to police on January 12 and January 24, 2000,  violated his rights under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United State Constitution and art. 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, and that the statements should have been suppressed; that the prosecutor’s failure timely to disclose that a key witness had been unable to identify the defendant at voir dire violated his right to due process and mandates a new trial; and that the admission of evidence obtained by Massachusetts police based on a pawn ticket that had been seized by New Jersey police after the defendant’s arrest in that State violated his rights under […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,