Posts tagged "1103214"

Commonwealth v. Whitehead (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-032-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;       12‑P‑1970                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JASON P. WHITEHEAD.     No. 12‑P‑1970. Barnstable.     October 11, 2013.  ‑  March 25, 2014. Present:  Cypher, Katzmann, & Maldonado, JJ.   Firearms.  Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Reasonable suspicion.  Search and Seizure, Threshold police inquiry, Protective frisk, Reasonable suspicion.  Threshold Police Inquiry.  Evidence, Firearm.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Barnstable Division of the District Court Department on March 20, 2012.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Joan E. Lynch, J., and the cases were heard by W. James O’Neill, J.     Nicholas Grefe for the defendant. Elizabeth Anne Sweeney, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       KATZMANN, J.  Following a jury-waived trial, a District Court judge found the defendant guilty of carrying a firearm without a license, G. L. c. 269, § 10(a), and carrying a firearm on school grounds, G. L. c. 269, § 10(j).  The defendant now appeals from the denial of his motion to suppress a firearm, together with all the evidence that was obtained as a result of a police officer’s patfrisk and search of the backpack the defendant had strapped to his back.  The issue before us is whether the motion judge correctly found that the police officer’s patfrisk and search of the backpack were permissible, where the officer observed several types of ammunition inside the defendant’s vehicle, which was parked on a college campus and which bore threatening decals, and where the defendant was wearing camouflage attire.  We affirm. Background.  On March 19, 2012, at 10:00 A.M., police were dispatched to Cape Cod Community College based on a report that security officers had observed ammunition in plain view inside a locked Jeep in a college parking lot.  Officer Kevin Donovan of the Barnstable police department responded and met two security officers at the lot.  The security officers identified the vehicle, which had decals attached to it, including “Kill ‘Em All Let God Sort It Out” and “Sniper No Need to Run — You’ll Only Die Tired.”  Additionally, there was a sign hanging from the vehicle’s rearview mirror that said “Funeral.”  Officer Donovan looked through the closed window of the vehicle and observed in the console area three rounds of ammunition for a semiautomatic weapon– a nine millimeter round, a .38 caliber round, and an empty […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

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