Posts tagged "1002613"

Commonwealth v. Harris (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-026-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;     SJC‑10862   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  HASSAUN HARRIS.     Suffolk.     October 5, 2012.  ‑  February 12, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Gants, & Duffly, JJ.       Homicide.  Evidence, Relevancy and materiality, Self‑defense.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury.  Self‑Defense.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 28, 2006.   The case was tried before Christine M. McEvoy, J.     Leslie W. O’Brien for the defendant. Donna Jalbert Patalano, Assistant District Attorney (Ian Polumbaum, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.       IRELAND, C.J.  On February 4, 2008, a jury convicted the defendant, Hassaun Harris, of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation.  Represented by new counsel on appeal, the defendant argues error in (1) the admission of evidence; (2) the prosecutor’s closing argument, and (3) the judge’s instructions to the jury.  The defendant also seeks relief pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We affirm the defendant’s conviction and discern no basis to exercise our authority pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. 1.  Facts.  As an initial matter, the defendant admitted that he had stabbed and killed the victim during an argument.  The main issue at trial was whether the defendant had acted in self-defense. a.  The Commonwealth’s case.  We summarize the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain details for discussion in conjunction with specific issues raised.  After a long relationship that developed into dating and cohabitation, the defendant and Tanetta Williams ended their relationship in March or May of 2006.  After the breakup, however, Williams kept in contact with the defendant because she helped take care of his son.  She also continued to manage the defendant’s finances and was a “payee” for payments he received due to an illness. Shortly after 9 P.M. on October 12, 2006, Williams and the victim, who was a friend, drove to a restaurant in the Hyde Park section of Boston.  Williams and the victim went to the counter inside the restaurant, and Williams ordered some food.  She and the victim found a booth across from the register, sat down, and proceeded to use their cellular telephones.  At 9:20 P.M., Williams received a call from the defendant.  Williams testified that the telephone call was brief because she “was on the other line.”  The defendant only […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm

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