Posts tagged "Tyree"

Tyree v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-165-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11633   WILLIAM M. TYREE  vs.  COMMONWEALTH.       October 1, 2014.   Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case.  Evidence, Third-party culprit.       The petitioner, William M. Tyree, was convicted of murder in the first degree in 1980.  This court affirmed the conviction.  See Commonwealth v. Tyree, 387 Mass. 191 (1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 1175 (1983).  Since then, Tyree has filed numerous postconviction motions in the trial court, including several motions for a new trial, as well as petitions in the county court pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E, and G. L. c. 211, § 3.  Most recently he filed, in the county court, “Appellant’s Motion Seeking Permission to File a Second Direct Appeal, or in the Alternative, Appellant’s Motion Seeking Permission to File a Successive Rule 30 New Trial Motion, or in the Alternative, Appellant’s Motion Seeking Permission to File a Nunc Pro Tunc Appeal of the G. L. c. 211, § 3 Petition Held Ex Parte that Denied Exculpatory Evidence to the Appellant in a Capital Case.”  A single justice treated the filing as a G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition, and denied it.[1]  Tyree appeals, and we affirm.   Tyree’s claims stem, in essence, from a hearing and decision on a G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition that the Commonwealth filed in 1979, during the course of prosecuting Tyree for murder.  In the petition, the Commonwealth sought relief from a trial judge’s order, issued after a probable cause hearing, that, among other things, caused several complaints to be issued against a witness at the hearing who Tyree claims committed the murder.  A single justice of this court allowed the petition and voided the complaints that had issued against the witness.  Three decades later, Tyree now complains that the hearing on the petition was held ex parte, and that, as a result, the single justice did not have the full picture of the relevant events.  The single justice’s ruling also, according to Tyree, had the ultimate effect of precluding any reference at trial to the probable cause hearing and decision, including the subsequently voided complaints, because the Commonwealth successfully moved in limine to prohibit any reference to those events.  In Tyree’s view, this, in turn, prevented him from raising a third-party culprit defense.  Why this would be so is not clear — even without referring to the probable cause hearing […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm

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