Posts tagged "1104118"

Commonwealth v. Anitus (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-041-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   16-P-1282                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JEFFREY ANITUS.     No. 16-P-1282.   Bristol.     December 6, 2017. – April 6, 2018.   Present:  Milkey, Henry, & Wendlandt, JJ.     Robbery.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Identification.  Evidence, Identification.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding.     Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 19, 2013.   The cases were tried before Renee P. Dupuis, J.     Michelle Menken for the defendant. Shoshana E. Stern, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     WENDLANDT, J.  Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of armed robbery while masked, pursuant to G. L. c. 265, § 17, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon, pursuant to G. L. c. 265, § 15B(b).[1]  On appeal, the defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction under Commonwealth v. Morris, 422 Mass. 254 (1996).  Applying the Supreme Judicial Court’s jurisprudence regarding the sufficiency of fingerprint evidence found on a moveable object at a crime scene to the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence in this case, we agree. Background.  On July 3, 2013, two men broke into a Burger King in Easton at around 11:30 P.M. and stole approximately $ 3,000.  Both men were described by the restaurant manager, who was present during the robbery, as African-American and wearing blue surgical masks.  The first assailant was approximately six feet tall, and armed with a gun; he wore a dark hooded sweatshirt.  The second assailant, who wore a tan hooded sweatshirt, was “a little bit taller” than the armed man. Surveillance recordings from the Burger King and the neighboring Dunkin’ Donuts captured images of both men as they fled the crime scene.  The recordings showed the second assailant removing his mask and, as he is fleeing the crime scene, tossing something into the Dunkin’ Donuts plaza.  His profile was captured in one of the recordings; however, the recording (and the still photographs captured from it) were grainy and of extremely poor quality.[2]  The surveillance recordings also captured a white vehicle matching the make and model of the defendant’s mother’s vehicle.[3] One of the police officers who responded to the crime scene discovered two cloth items — a white toddler-sized T-shirt and a blue knotted bandana — in the Dunkin’ Donuts plaza.  The Commonwealth’s theory was that the defendant was the second assailant.  Based on the recordings,[4] the Commonwealth argued […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 6, 2018 at 6:02 pm

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