Posts tagged "1005815"

Commonwealth v. Tran (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-058-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11571   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  THE NGOC TRAN. Middlesex.     December 5, 2014. – April 10, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Homicide.  Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Mental Impairment.  Practice, Criminal, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Instructions to jury, Duplicative convictions, Jury and jurors, Conduct of juror, Capital case.  Jury and Jurors.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 16, 2011.   The cases were tried before David Ricciardone, J.     Stephen Neyman for the defendant. Michael A. Kaneb, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     CORDY, J.  On April 28, 2011, Son Ngoc Tran was found dead in her home.  The cause of her death was multiple blunt-impact injuries to her head and brain inflicted by a rubber-headed mallet.  Dispatched to the scene to investigate, Lowell police officers discovered the victim in a pool of blood in her bathroom and her husband, the defendant, sobbing in the living room.  As one officer approached, the defendant raised his hands and said, “I killed my wife.” The defendant was charged with murder in the first degree and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a person sixty years of age or older.  He filed a motion to suppress statements he made in an interview with police investigators shortly after his arrest, which was denied following an evidentiary hearing.  At trial, the Commonwealth proceeded with respect to the murder charge on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity and cruelty.  The defense was not lack of criminal responsibility, but the defendant’s lack of the mental capacity to specifically intend his actions or to act in a cruel or atrocious manner.  A Middlesex County jury found the defendant guilty on both charges.[1] On appeal, the defendant claims several errors.  We reject each contention and find no reversible error arising from the defendant’s various claims.  Further, we conclude that there is no basis for exercising our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the verdict of murder to a lesser degree of guilt or order a new trial.  Accordingly, we affirm the defendant’s convictions. Background.  We recite the facts in the light most favorable to […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 10, 2015 at 6:49 pm

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