Posts tagged "1104218"

Commonwealth v. Rivers (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-042-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-1435                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MATTHEW W. RIVERS.     No. 16-P-1435.   Dukes County.     November 1, 2017. – April 10, 2018.   Present:  Green, C.J., Rubin, & Kinder, JJ.     Constitutional Law, Identification, Voluntariness of statement.  Due Process of Law, Identification.  Identification.  Evidence, Identification, Voluntariness of statement.  Practice, Criminal, Voluntariness of statement, Motion to suppress, Interlocutory appeal.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Edgartown Division of the District Court Department on October 30, 2014.   Pretrial motions to suppress evidence heard by J. Thomas Kirkman, J.   Applications for leave to prosecute interlocutory appeals were heard by Barbara A. Lenk, J., and Margot Botsford, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and each appeal was reported to the Appeals Court.     Timothy M. Moriarty for the defendant. Tara L. Johnston, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GREEN, C.J.  A group altercation outside a party on Martha’s Vineyard led to a complaint charging the defendant with two counts of felony assault and battery.[1]  He now appeals from two orders of a District Court judge denying his motions to suppress (1) evidence of an out-of-court identification made by an assault victim, and (2) statements the defendant made to police after suggestions by an officer that his cooperation would avoid a felony charge.[2]  We affirm the order denying suppression of the identification.  However, we agree with the defendant that the Commonwealth did not meet its burden to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant’s statements were voluntary, and accordingly we reverse the order denying his motion to suppress them. Background.  We summarize the motion judge’s subsidiary findings of fact, which the defendant does not contest. On June 28, 2014, the victim went to a party in West Tisbury before going to a party in Oak Bluffs.  He had three or four beers that evening and it was “possible” he had some cocaine. When the victim arrived at the Oak Bluffs party he encountered Matt Brown, whose sister the victim had been dating.  Believing Brown was going to attack him, the victim struck Brown first and was then attacked by several others who cornered him in a parking lot.  The victim was between several cars when he struck Brown, and then the defendant struck the victim in the face twice.  The […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 10, 2018 at 3:04 pm

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