Posts tagged "1014515"

Commonwealth v. Bruneau (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-145-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11820   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  PETER BRUNEAU.       Hampden.     April 7, 2015. – August 27, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Mental Impairment.  Practice, Criminal, Appeal, Judgment.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on October 1, 2008.   The case was heard by Richard J. Carey, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Rebecca A. Jacobstein, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant. Jane Davidson Montori, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     DUFFLY, J.  We are asked in this case to determine whether a defendant who has been found not guilty of murder in the second degree by reason of mental illness may appeal from his conviction pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 28, or, whether, as the Commonwealth contends, the sole avenue by which such a defendant may seek to appeal is a petition filed pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3. In 2008, the defendant was indicted on a charge of murder in the first degree for the stabbing death of the victim, George Roy, but was repeatedly found not competent to stand trial until 2013.  At that time, having heard testimony by a medical expert and having considered representations by defense counsel, a Superior Court judge concluded that the defendant was then competent.  The Commonwealth filed a nolle prosequi with respect to so much of the indictment that charged murder in the first degree, and after a colloquy, the defendant waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to the entry of stipulations to numerous facts.  The defendant’s motions for a required finding of not guilty, made at the close of the Commonwealth’s case and at the close of all evidence, were denied.  The sole defense offered by the defendant at trial was that, at the time he committed the murder, he lacked criminal responsibility due to mental illness.  In his closing argument, the defendant’s counsel conceded that the defendant killed the victim by “stabbing him repeatedly.”  The defendant was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and ordered hospitalized at Bridgewater State Hospital pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 16.  The defendant filed an appeal under G. L. c. 278, § 28, which the Commonwealth argues was inappropriate, and we granted […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 27, 2015 at 5:18 pm

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