Posts tagged "1007516"

Commonwealth v. Millien (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-075-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11928   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  OSWELT MILLIEN.       Middlesex.     December 7, 2015. – June 3, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Assault and Battery.  Child Abuse.  Evidence, Expert opinion.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, New trial, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 23, 2009.   The cases were tried before S. Jane Haggerty, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on June 24, 2013, was heard by her.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     David Hirsch for the defendant. Kate Cimini, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Seth Miller, of Florida, Katherine H. Judson, of Wisconsin, Adam W. Deitch & Lindsay A. Olson, of New York, & Mark W. Batton for The Innocence Network. Heather Kirkwood, of Washington, & David E. Meier for David Ayoub & others. Matthew R. Segal, Dennis Shedd, & Chauncey B. Wood for Committee for Public Counsel Services & others.     GANTS, C.J.  On the evening of October 20, 2009, the defendant’s six month old daughter, Jahanna, was rushed to the emergency room, unconscious and unresponsive.  She was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, and scans of her brain showed retinal hemorrhages, subdural hematoma, and brain swelling, the three symptoms known as “the triad” associated with shaken baby syndrome.  The defendant, who was the baby’s sole caretaker when she became unconscious, claimed that Jahanna accidentally fell backwards from the couch where she was sitting and landed on the wooden floor.  After Jahanna’s physicians concluded that her brain injuries could not have been caused by an accidental fall from the couch but were instead caused by a violent shaking, the defendant was charged and later convicted by a jury of assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury (head injuries), in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 13J (b), and assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury (fractured vertebrae), in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 13J (a).[1] There is a heated debate in the medical community as to whether a violent shaking of a baby alone can generate enough force to cause the triad of symptoms of traumatic brain injury, […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

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