Posts tagged "1016217"

Commonwealth v. Dunn (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-162-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11502   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  WILLIAM DUNN.       Norfolk.     May 5, 2017. – October 12, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, & Cypher, JJ.[1]     Homicide.  Armed Assault with Intent to Murder.  Insanity.  Evidence, Insanity, Expert opinion, Credibility of witness.  Witness, Expert, Credibility.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Mistrial, Verdict, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on January 15, 2008.   The cases were tried before Kenneth J. Fishman, J.     Alan Jay Black for the defendant. Tracey A. Cusick, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, C.J.  On November 2, 2007, the defendant struck Robert Moore multiple times with a baseball bat in the basement of Moore’s home, killing him, and then attacked his daughter-in-law, Nancy Moore, with the baseball bat and a shod foot when she went downstairs to look for him, nearly killing her.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty for his killing of Robert,[2] and of various indictments for his brutal attack of Nancy, including armed assault with the intent to murder.[3]  The issue at trial was not whether the defendant committed these acts; his attorney admitted that he did so in his opening statement.  The issue was whether the Commonwealth proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was criminally responsible for his actions. The defendant presents five claims on appeal:  (1) that the trial judge abused his discretion in denying a motion for a mistrial after the Commonwealth’s expert witness commented on the credibility of the defendant or the defendant’s expert witness; (2) that the conviction of armed assault with the intent to murder should be reduced to assault with the intent to murder because that is how the verdict slip characterized the indictment; (3) that the judge’s instruction to the jury describing what would happen if the jury found the defendant not guilty by reason of lack of criminal responsibility created a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice; (4) that the absence of a jury instruction regarding the effects of drugs on the defendant’s criminal responsibility created a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice; and (5) that we should exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to grant the defendant a new trial […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 12, 2017 at 11:50 pm

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