Posts tagged "Watkins"

Commonwealth v. Watkins (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-188-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-09950   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KYLE WATKINS.     Bristol.     January 9, 2015. – November 24, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, & Duffly, JJ.     Homicide.  Identification.  Evidence, Identification, Disclosure of evidence, Exculpatory, Third-party culprit, Hearsay.  Due Process of Law, Disclosure of evidence.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Motion for a required finding, New trial, Disclosure of evidence, Agreement between prosecutor and witness, Prosecutor’s conflict of interest, Conduct of prosecutor, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 25, 2003.   The cases were tried before E. Susan Garsh, J., and a motion for a required finding of not guilty or, in the alternative, for a new trial, filed on March 21, 2011, was heard by her.     Janet H. Pumphrey for the defendant. Shoshana E. Stern, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     DUFFLY, J.  In June, 2005, a Superior Court jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree in the April 26, 2003, shooting death of Paul Coombs on a New Bedford street.[1]  The defendant appealed from his convictions and also filed in the Superior Court a motion for a required finding of not guilty, pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 25(b)(2), as amended, 420 Mass. 1502 (1995), or, in the alternative, for a new trial, pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 30(a), as appearing in 435 Mass. 1501 (2001).  The defendant’s motion for a stay of appeal was allowed so that he could pursue his motion in the Superior Court.  After conducting an extensive evidentiary hearing, the motion judge, who had been the trial judge, denied both requests made in the motion.  The defendant’s appeal from that denial was consolidated with his direct appeal.[2] The defendant argues, as he did in his motion for a new trial, that there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction.  He argues further that a new trial is required because the Commonwealth failed to make mandatory disclosures of exculpatory evidence; the judge abused her discretion in allowing the Commonwealth’s motion to exclude evidence of a third-party culprit, and in denying the defendant’s motion to exclude hearsay testimony; there was prosecutorial misconduct; and his counsel was ineffective.  The defendant also asks that we exercise our extraordinary power under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the degree of guilt. We […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 24, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Watkins v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-128-14)

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-11635   ERNEST WATKINS  vs.  COMMONWEALTH. July 17, 2014.     Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.     Ernest Watkins appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying, without a hearing, a petition for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3, from the denial of his motion to dismiss an indictment charging him with murder in the first degree.  We affirm.   Watkins was fourteen years old at the time of the incident that gave rise to the indictment.  He moved to dismiss the indictment and remand the matter to the Juvenile Court on the ground that subjecting him to adult criminal proceedings in the Superior Court pursuant to G. L. c. 119, § 74,[1] rather than youthful offender proceedings in the Juvenile Court, would violate his rights to equal protection and due process.  A judge in the Superior Court denied the motion.  His G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition followed.   The case is before us pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, 434 Mass. 1301 (2001), which requires an appellant in these circumstances to “set forth the reasons why review of the trial court decision cannot adequately be obtained on appeal from any final adverse judgment in the trial court or by other available means.”  Watkins has not carried his burden under the rule.  It is well established that “[t]he denial of a motion to dismiss in a criminal case is not appealable until after trial, and we have indicated many times that G. L. c. 211, § 3, may not be used to circumvent that rule.  Unless a single justice decides the matter on the merits or reserves and reports it to the full court, neither of which occurred here, a defendant cannot receive review under G. L. c. 211, § 3, from the denial of his motion to dismiss.”  Limbaugh v. Commonwealth, 465 Mass. 1018, 1019 (2013), quoting Bateman v. Commonwealth, 449 Mass. 1024, 1024-1025 (2007).  We have recognized a narrow exception in cases where the motion to dismiss raises a double jeopardy claim of substantial merit.  See Neverson v. Commonwealth, 406 Mass. 174, 175-176 (1989).  Watkins’s argument that his claim is similar to a double jeopardy claim is unavailing.  He is not claiming that he has a right not to be tried at all, but a right to be tried in a different forum.  If he […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,