Posts tagged "1016515"

Commonwealth v. Bonnett (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-165-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11496   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DARKENS BONNETT. Essex.      May 8, 2015. – September 24, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Cordy, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, Assistance of counsel, Opening statement, Presence of defendant, Identification of defendant in courtroom, Failure to object, Argument by counsel, Argument by prosecutor, Disclosure of identity of informer, Disclosure of evidence in possession of Federal authorities, Capital case.  Evidence, Cross-examination, Identification, Videotape, Consciousness of guilt, Disclosure of evidence, Informer, Relevancy and materiality.  Witness, Cross-examination, Privilege.  Identification.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 15, 2010.   The case was tried before Howard J. Whitehead, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on January 27, 2014, was heard by him.     Jeanne M. Kempthorne for the defendant. David F. O’Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     LENK, J.  The victim, Vincent Gaskins, was shot and killed in a parking lot across the street from a nightclub in Lynn.  The shooting came on the heels of an argument between the victim and Brandon Payne, a friend of the defendant.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation.  The trial judge subsequently denied the defendant’s motion for a new trial.  On appeal from his conviction and from the denial of his motion for a new trial, the defendant claims that (a) his trial counsel rendered constitutionally ineffective assistance; and (b) on the eve of trial, the judge erred by denying the defendant’s motion for disclosure of the identity of an informant who, according to a report prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), had heard that Payne, not the defendant, had shot the victim.  We reject the defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim, but remand for further proceedings in connection with his motion for disclosure of the informant’s identity.  We do not now see cause to exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the verdict of murder in the first degree or to order a new trial. 1.  Background.  The evidence at trial included the following.  Soon after 1 A.M. on a night in November, 2009, police found the victim lying on the ground in a parking lot across the street from a nightclub, with a gunshot wound […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm

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