Posts tagged "1019217"

Commonwealth v. Vazquez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-192-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11695   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ALBERTO VAZQUEZ.       Essex.     September 8, 2017. – November 29, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, & Kafker, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Cellular Telephone.  Evidence, Prior misconduct.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Assistance of counsel, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury.  Intent.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 17, 2010.   The case was tried before Richard E. Welch, III, J.     Leslie W. O’Brien for the defendant. David F. O’Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          BUDD, J.  In the early morning hours of June 18, 2010, Julian Melendez was shot and killed during an exchange with an individual later identified as the defendant, Alberto Vazquez.  The defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation.  On appeal, the defendant claims error on the part of defense counsel, the trial judge, and the prosecutor, requiring a new trial.  Alternatively, he seeks a reduction in the verdict pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We affirm the defendant’s conviction and decline to exercise our extraordinary power under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Background.  We summarize the facts as the jury could have found them, reserving certain details for discussion of specific issues.  Just prior to 2 A.M. on June 18, 2010, in a Lawrence neighborhood, the defendant drove up to a group of people and began arguing with some of them.  The victim approached the automobile and attempted to defuse the situation, saying, “It[‘s] me, JM, it’s me, your brother.”  The defendant drove away, but returned approximately five minutes later and continued to argue with some of those present.  The victim, who again approached the automobile and leaned into the driver’s side window, tried once more to calm down the defendant.  Suddenly, the defendant reached out, shot the victim at close range, and drove away.  When first responders arrived, the victim was unresponsive.  He died at the hospital within twenty-four hours of the shooting. At trial, the Commonwealth did not provide evidence of motive; however, the prosecution’s theory was that the defendant deliberately premeditated the killing of the victim.  It relied chiefly on the testimony of two cooperating witnesses:  one testified to having witnessed the shooting and identified the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 29, 2017 at 8:19 pm

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