Posts tagged "1001317"

Commonwealth v. Caruso (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-013-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-09656   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  STEVEN CARUSO.       Middlesex.     September 9, 2016. – January 13, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Assistance of counsel.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Information stored on computer, Of agency, Prior consistent statement, Testimony at prior proceeding, Videotape, Impeachment of credibility.  Agency, What constitutes.  Witness, Expert, Impeachment.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Confrontation of witnesses, Assistance of counsel.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 23, 2000.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Charles M. Grabau, J., and the case was tried before him.     David A.F. Lewis for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney (Elizabeth Dunigan, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.     LOWY, J.  On January 20, 2000, Sandra Berfield, the victim, received a package containing a pipe bomb, which exploded when she opened it, blowing her body asunder and killing her instantly.  A jury in the Superior Court found the defendant, Steven Caruso, guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity and cruelty. The defendant appeals from his conviction, claiming that (1) the admission of testimony by a jailhouse informant violated the defendant’s confrontation rights; (2) a ballistics expert improperly testified to a report prepared by an unavailable expert; (3) the testimony of the Commonwealth’s wire expert should have been excluded; (4) the Commonwealth failed to establish adequately the reliability of computer forensics evidence; and (5) the admission of the victim’s prior recorded testimony and limitations on the defendant’s ability to attack its veracity violated the defendant’s confrontation rights.  We conclude that no reversible error occurred, and we affirm the jury’s verdict. Background.  We recite the facts the jury could have reasonably found in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, reserving certain details for our analysis of the issues. Defendant’s relationship with victim.  The defendant was a long-time regular customer at a restaurant in Medford where the victim worked as a server.  The defendant often patronized the restaurant more than once daily, and typically requested a particular server.  When the defendant became angry after a long wait for his previously preferred server, the victim became the defendant’s server of choice.  The defendant and the victim established an amicable […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm

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