Posts tagged "1001016"

Commonwealth v. Dame (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-010-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11683 SJC-11937   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  RONALD C. DAME. Worcester.     November 6, 2015. – February 3, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Cordy, Botsford, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Search and seizure, Probable cause.  Due Process of Law, Delay in commencement of prosecution.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Probable Cause.  Search and Seizure, Motor vehicle, Probable cause.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Indictment, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Motion to suppress, Harmless error, Execution of sentence, Sentence.  Error, Harmless.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 20, 2006.   A motion to dismiss was heard by James R. Lemire, J.; a pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Peter W. Agnes, Jr., J.; and the case was tried before Richard T. Tucker, J. A motion for a stay of sentence filed in the Supreme Judicial Court was referred to Spina, J., and was considered by him.     Theodore F. Riordan (Deborah Bates Riordan with him) for the defendant. Donna-Marie Haran, Assistant District Attorney, the Commonwealth.     CORDY, J.  Clara Provost (victim) was brutally murdered in the bedroom of her apartment sometime after 10:30 P.M. on January 6 or early in the morning hours of January 7, 1974.  The subsequent police investigation focused on several potential suspects.  A year of investigation produced a circumstantial but not very strong case against the defendant, including a brief prior dating relationship with the victim that apparently ended badly; a flawed alibi; fresh scratches on his face; and a handprint on the outside of the door through which the murderer forced entry into the apartment.[1]  No one was indicted for the murder, and the investigation became largely dormant.[2] During the murder investigation in 1974, however, tissue was taken from under the fingernails of both hands of the victim and preserved.  More than twenty-five years later, analysis of this evidence proved decisive in the decision to prosecute the case.  As increasingly advanced methods of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis became more reliable, accurate, and accepted as evidence admissible in Massachusetts proceedings, Commonwealth v. Vao Sok, 425 Mass. 787, 789 (1997) (finding reliable and approving polymerase chain reaction analysis), a new era of investigation commenced.  The samples that had been preserved were analyzed and swabs were taken from the previously identified potential suspects.  The analysis identified […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 4, 2016 at 3:01 am

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