Posts tagged "Valentin"

Commonwealth v. Valentin (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-058-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   16-P-245                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  WALTON VALENTIN.     No. 16-P-245.   Essex.     February 28, 2017. – May 12, 2017.   Present:  Vuono, Carhart, & Kinder, JJ.[1]     Assault by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.  Assault and Battery.  Stalking.  Protective Order.  Abuse Prevention.  Evidence, Hearsay, Unavailable witness.  Witness, Unavailability, Self-incrimination, Immunity.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Self-incrimination.  Practice, Criminal, Hearsay, Confrontation of witnesses, Required finding, Instructions to jury, Reasonable doubt, Question by jury.  Reasonable Doubt.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on January 2, 2014.   The cases were tried before Richard E. Welch, III, J.     Robert L. Sheketoff for the defendant. David F. O’Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     KINDER, J.  Following a jury trial in Superior Court, the defendant, Walton Valentin, was convicted of multiple crimes of violence against his former girl friend, whom we shall call Jane.[2]  The jury found him guilty of entering a building with intent to commit a felony, G. L. c. 266, § 17; assault by means of a dangerous weapon, G. L. c. 265, § 15B; aggravated assault and battery in violation of a restraining order, G. L. c. 265, § 15A(c)(iii)[3]; assault and battery, G. L. c. 265, § 13A; stalking in violation of a restraining order, G. L. c. 265, § 43(b); and violations of a restraining order (twelve counts), G. L. c. 209A, § 7.[4]  On appeal, the defendant claims (1) the judge erred in admitting the victim’s hearsay statements pursuant to the doctrine of forfeiture of the right of confrontation by wrongdoing; (2) the evidence was insufficient on the charges of stalking, aggravated assault and battery, and entering a building with intent to commit a felony; (3) the judge’s instruction on reasonable doubt was error; and (4) the judge abused his discretion in responding to a question from the jury.  We affirm. Background.  1.  The break-in and assaults.  We summarize the evidence the jury could have found, viewing it in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth.  Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 676-677 (1979).  On June 24, 2013, Jane obtained a restraining order prohibiting the defendant from contacting or abusing her.  The order was in effect through January 7, 2014.  In October 2013, Jane began staying at the home of her co-worker and friend, Susan[5], in Lawrence.  On October 28, 2013, Jane and Susan attended a party in Boston.  Following the party, […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 12, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Valentin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-067-16)

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   SJC-11448   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ELVIN VALENTIN.       Bristol.     January 12, 2016. – May 20, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Homicide.  Intoxication.  Evidence, Prior misconduct, Relevancy and materiality.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Argument by prosecutor, Request for jury instructions, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 28, 2009.   The cases were tried before Thomas F. McGuire, Jr., J.     John F. Palmer for the defendant. Rachel W. van Deuren, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     DUFFLY, J.  The defendant was convicted by a Superior Court jury of murder in the first degree in the shooting deaths of Nettie Becht and Luis Diaz, on theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty.  On appeal, the defendant asserts error in the judge’s decision to permit the introduction in evidence of weapons and related items that he lawfully owned and that were not alleged to have been used in the shooting.  The defendant asserts error also in the denial of his request that the jury be instructed on voluntary manslaughter based on a theory of reasonable provocation, and in the instruction that was given that the jury must “find” the defendant was intoxicated.  He also challenges portions of the prosecutor’s closing argument in several respects. Concluding that there was no error, we affirm the defendant’s convictions and decline to exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to grant a new trial or reduce the verdicts to a lesser degree of guilt. 1.  Background.  a.  Commonwealth’s case.  We recite the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain facts for later discussion.  The defendant and Becht lived in different apartments in the same housing complex in New Bedford.  They had been involved in an intermittent relationship that spanned a four-year period; during that period, the defendant and Becht occasionally spent the night at each other’s apartments and the defendant had loaned Becht money.  According to the defendant, Becht had “cheated” on him and he felt that she was “using” him.  Becht ended the relationship prior to the shootings. Becht was treated at a hospital on the night before she was killed.[1]  When the defendant attempted to visit her there, she told him that she did not want to see him.  The next […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Valentin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-192-14)

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-11581   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  PEDRO VALENTIN. Suffolk.     October 6, 2014. – December 8, 2014.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel.  Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Assistance of counsel, Capital case, New trial.  Witness, Impeachment.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on October 23, 1991.   Following review by this court, 420 Mass. 263 (1995), a motion for a new trial, filed on January 6, 2012, was considered by Patrick F. Brady, J.   A request for leave to appeal was allowed by Gants, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk.     Dennis Shedd for the defendant. Paul B. Linn, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          CORDY, J.  The defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree was affirmed by this court in 1995.  See Commonwealth v. Valentin, 420 Mass. 263 (1995).  In 2012, he filed a motion for a new trial which was denied. The case is now before us pursuant to an order of a single justice of the county court allowing, in part, the defendant’ s application for leave to appeal from that denial under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. We conclude that trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance in failing to impeach a witness as to one of his statements, where counsel’s decision was not manifestly unreasonable and, in any event, did not so impact the outcome of the trial as to create a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice.  We also conclude that the substitution of trial counsel’s partner to stand in for her during jury deliberations was not one of structural error warranting a new trial absent a showing of prejudice.  Further, considering the claim as one of ineffective assistance of counsel, we conclude that the defendant did not receive constitutionally deficient assistance or suffer any appreciable prejudice as a result of the substitution.  Accordingly, the defendant’s motion for new trial was properly denied. Background.  In October, 1991, the defendant was indicted on charges of murder in the first degree, G. L. c. 265, § 1, for the killing of Timothy Bond in July, 1991, and for assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, G. L. c. 265, § 15A (b). 1.  Evidence at trial.  The facts of this […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Valentin V., a juvenile (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-015-13)

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       12‑P‑317                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  VALENTIN V., a juvenile.     No. 12‑P‑317. Berkshire.     December 11, 2012.  ‑  January 29, 2013. Present:  Kafker, Milkey, & Agnes, JJ.   Threatening.  Assault and Battery.  Evidence, Threat.  Intimidation of Witness.  Witness, Intimidation.  Practice, Criminal, Dismissal.       Complaints received and sworn to in the Berkshire County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on April 19, 2011.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Judith A. Locke, J.     John P. Bossé, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Peter A. Hahn for the juvenile.     MILKEY, J.  Based on remarks he allegedly made about assaulting a fellow student at his high school, a juvenile faced delinquency complaints that charged him with threatening a crime (assault and battery), G. L. c. 275, § 2, and witness intimidation, G. L. c. 268, § 13B.  Over the Commonwealth’s objection, a judge of the Juvenile Court dismissed these charges as unsupported by probable cause.  The judge relied on the absence of a showing that the threatening remarks were ever heard by their intended target (to whom we shall refer by the pseudonym “Fred”).  On the Commonwealth’s appeal, we reverse. Background.  The Commonwealth filed its “Application for Criminal Complaint” based on a police report, which in turn incorporated three witness statements from school officials.  According to this material, on the morning of April 6, 2011, Fred walked into a classroom in which the juvenile was already present.  The teacher redirected Fred elsewhere, and after he left, the juvenile “tried to leave after [Fred] stating that he was going to ‘kick [Fred’s] ass.’”  The apparent source of the conflict between the students had to do with their both being under suspicion for stealing an “Xbox” video game system from the school two weeks earlier.  The teacher intercepted the juvenile and convinced him to go speak with other school officials.  At that meeting, the juvenile referred to Fred as a “snitch” and stated that “he was going to get him.”  After the officials informed the juvenile “that he couldn’t stay in school if he was threatening another student,” the juvenile “said that he wasn’t going to hit [Fred] but, if the other students didn’t give him ‘shit’ for stealing the Xbox he would hit him.”  At that point, the focus of the conversation turned to whether the juvenile was armed with […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 31, 2013 at 12:10 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , ,