Posts tagged "1020715"

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-207-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11411   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  STEVEN GONZALEZ.       Hampden.     September 11, 2015. – December 30, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Duffly, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Firearms.  Alibi.  Evidence, Alibi.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Assistance of counsel, Instructions to jury, Cross-examination by prosecutor, Argument by prosecutor, Presumptions and burden of proof.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 17, 2008.   The cases were tried before Mary-Lou Rup, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on July 22, 2013, was considered by her.     Joseph A. Hanofee for the defendant. Deborah D. Ahlstrom, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, C.J.  At approximately 5 P.M. on October 17, 2008, a man approached the victim, Alexander Gautier, and shot him in the face at close range with a sawed-off shotgun, killing him.  A Superior Court jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation.[1]  The defendant claims on appeal that he is entitled to a new trial because he was denied the effective assistance of counsel.  He contends, first, that his trial attorney called an alibi witness to testify in his defense without first interviewing her, which resulted in the witness providing testimony contradicting the defendant’s own alibi testimony.  Second, he contends that his attorney should have called certain individuals to testify in his defense who witnessed the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and whose testimony would have created a reasonable doubt regarding the identification of him as the shooter.  We conclude that these alleged errors were not “likely to have influenced the jury’s conclusion.”  See Commonwealth v. Wright, 411 Mass. 678, 682 (1992), S.C., 469 Mass. 447 (2014).  We therefore affirm the defendant’s convictions. Background.  The evidence supported the following facts.  The victim had controlled the sale of narcotics in the low-rise apartment buildings in the area of 244-266 Locust Street in Springfield, but left for Puerto Rico when a warrant issued for his arrest.  In the victim’s absence, Sammy Ramos (Sammy), a friend who operated an automobile dealership on Locust Street, took over the drug business on the block, and permitted others to sell drugs there, including two brothers, both named Jose Rodriguez.  Also during the victim’s absence, Jasson Gonzalez (Jasson) […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 30, 2015 at 7:05 pm

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