Posts tagged "1010617"

Commonwealth v. Jones (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-106-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12027   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MAURICE JONES.       Suffolk.     January 10, 2017. – June 20, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, & Budd, JJ.     Homicide.  Jury and Jurors.  Practice, Criminal, Jury and jurors, Empanelment of jury, Challenge to jurors, Hearsay, Instructions to jury.  Evidence, Identity, Consciousness of guilt, Hearsay.  Constitutional Law, Self-incrimination.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 26, 2013.   The cases were tried before Linda E. Giles, J., and a motion to set aside the verdict was heard by her.     James L. Sultan (Kerry A. Haberlin also present) for the defendant. Matthew T. Sears, Assistant District Attorney (Julie Sunkle Higgins, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.     LENK, J.  The defendant was convicted by a Superior Court jury of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty in connection with the shooting death of Dinoriss Alston on April, 17, 2012.[1]  The identity of the shooter was the central issue at trial.  On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, and also asserts a number of errors in the trial proceedings.  He maintains that the judge erred in failing to require the Commonwealth to explain its peremptory challenge of a prospective juror; improperly allowed the admission of evidence as to the defendant’s refusal to go to the hospital to be shown to the surviving witness and as to a police radio broadcast describing the shooter; incorrectly instructed the jury that circumstantial evidence would suffice while failing to instruct that mere presence was not enough; and improperly limited the defendant’s cross-examination of a Commonwealth witness.  The defendant asserts also that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and requests relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. We conclude that, while the evidence at trial was not by any means overwhelming, it was sufficient to sustain the defendant’s convictions.  The judge’s failure to require an explanation of the prosecutor’s peremptory challenge of a prospective juror who is African-American, however, requires the convictions be vacated.  We address other claimed errors only insofar as they may recur at any new trial. Background.  Because the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, we discuss in some detail the facts the jury could have found. The shooting.  On the afternoon of April 17, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm

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