Posts tagged "1019817"

Commonwealth v. Piantedosi (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-198-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11802   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CHRISTOPHER PIANTEDOSI.       Middlesex.     October 6, 2017. – December 18, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Homicide.  Mental Impairment.  Intoxication.  Insanity.  Evidence, Intoxication, Insanity, Expert opinion.  Witness, Expert.  Constitutional Law, Fair trial.  Due Process of Law, Fair trial.  Fair Trial.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Fair trial, Instructions to jury, Acquittal by reason of insanity.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 7, 2012.   The cases were tried before Diane M. Kottmyer, J.     Robert S. Sinsheimer (Lisa A. Parlagreco also present) for the defendant. Emily K. Walsh, Assistant District Attorney (Nicole L. Allain, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.     GAZIANO, J.  A jury in the Superior Court found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree in the stabbing death of his longtime girl friend, on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty.[1]  At trial, the defendant conceded that he had killed the victim but asserted that he lacked criminal responsibility for her death due to his involuntary intoxication from having taken prescribed antidepressant medications.  In this direct appeal from his convictions, the defendant challenges the judge’s refusal to permit a defense expert to testify on direct examination to hearsay statements made by the defendant; the introduction of testimony by the Commonwealth’s expert concerning what “drove” the defendant’s behavior; and the judge’s failure to instruct the jury that the consequences of a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity would include a potential psychiatric commitment for life.  In addition, the defendant asks this court to exercise its extraordinary authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the verdict to murder in the second degree.  For the reasons that follow, we affirm the defendant’s convictions and, after a thorough review of the entire trial record, decline to grant relief pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Background.  We summarize the facts that the jury could have found, reserving other details for later discussion of particular issues. Commonwealth’s case.  The victim and the defendant were involved in an eighteen-year relationship and had a daughter, Alexa,[2] who was a teenager at the time of these events.  The victim had a son from another relationship, whom she and the defendant were raising as their child.  The four lived […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm

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