Posts tagged "1016413"

Commonwealth v. Chatman (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-164-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑08921   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DEMOND CHATMAN.       Suffolk.     May 10, 2013.  ‑  September 3, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, & Duffly, JJ.       Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, New trial, Competency to stand trial, Presumptions and burden of proof, Affidavit, Capital case.  Evidence, Competency, Presumptions and burden of proof, Expert opinion.  Witness, Expert.  Due Process of Law, Competency to stand trial.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 5, 2000.   The case was tried before Barbara J. Rouse, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on May 5, 2008, was heard by her.     Edward L. Hayden for the defendant. Cailin M. Campbell, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       SPINA, J.  The defendant was convicted on January 24, 2002, of the deliberately premeditated murder of his mother.  On May 6, 2008, he filed a motion for a new trial alleging that he was not competent to stand trial.  The motion was denied after a nonevidentiary hearing.  The defendant appealed his conviction and the denial of his motion for a new trial.  On appeal he asserts error in the failure to hold an evidentiary hearing on his motion for a new trial and the denial of that motion.  He also requests that we exercise our power under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, and grant him a new trial or reduce the degree of guilt.  We vacate the denial of the motion for a new trial and remand that matter for an evidentiary hearing.  We defer consideration of the direct appeal pending a new decision on the motion for a new trial. 1.  Background.  The jury could have found the following facts.  In February, 2000, the defendant lived in the home of his mother’s aunt in the Roxbury section of Boston.  The defendant had been alienated from his mother for years, and had become openly hostile toward her.  Family members attributed this to jealousy over his mother’s relationship with her two young daughters, the defendant’s half-sisters.  On February 7, one of the defendant’s half-sisters telephoned the aunt’s apartment.  The defendant answered the telephone, then passed it to the aunt without speaking to his sister.  The sister heard the defendant say in the background, “Why do they always have to call here?”  She later told the victim what […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

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