Posts tagged "1002617"

Commonwealth v. Soto (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-026-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-12074   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ALEXANDER SOTO.       Suffolk.     October 7, 2016. – February 9, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Practice, Criminal, Indictment, Trial of indictments together, Dismissal.  Youthful Offender Act.  Statute, Construction.  Jurisdiction, Juvenile, Superior Court.  Juvenile Court, Jurisdiction.  Superior Court, Jurisdiction.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April 2, 2015.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Peter M. Lauriat, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Helle Sachse, Assistant District Attorney (Mark A. Hallal & Montez D. Haywood, Assistant District Attorneys, also present) for the Commonwealth. Benjamin L. Falkner for the defendant.          HINES, J.  Alexander Soto, a juvenile, was indicted in the Superior Court for murder in the first degree and for related offenses under G. L. c. 119, § 74.  A judge in the Superior Court dismissed the nonmurder indictments, ruling that the nonmurder charges must be brought first in the Juvenile Court by a complaint for delinquency or a youthful offender indictment prior to joinder with the murder indictments.  The Commonwealth appealed, and we granted its application for direct appellate review.  We conclude, based on the plain language of G. L. c. 119, § 74, and the overarching statutory scheme governing the treatment of juveniles charged with a violation of the criminal law, that when a juvenile is indicted for murder, nonmurder offenses that are properly joined with the murder indictment under Mass. R. Crim. P. 9 (a) (1), 378 Mass. 859 (1979), must be brought in the Superior Court.  Therefore, we reverse the order allowing the defendant’s motion to dismiss the nonmurder indictments and remand the matter to the Superior Court. Background.  On November 5, 2014, the defendant and two codefendants were involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of Ryan Morrissey and serious injury to James Lawton.  In April, 2015, a Suffolk County grand jury returned five indictments against the defendant:  (1) murder, G. L. c. 265, § 1; (2) armed assault with the intent to murder, G. L. c. 265, § 18 (b); (3) assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, causing serious bodily injury, G. L. c. 265, § 15A (c) (i); (4) unlawful possession of a firearm, G. L. c. 269, § 10 (a); and (5) unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, G. L. c. 269, § 10 (n).  Because the defendant […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm

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