Posts tagged "Alcantara"

Commonwealth v. Alcantara (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-089-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11468   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LEVI OMAR ALCANTARA. Essex.     February 6, 2015. – June 1, 2015. Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Evidence, Consciousness of guilt, Hearsay, Third-party culprit, Relevancy and materiality, Medical record, Privileged record, Cross-examination, Impeachment of credibility.  Practice, Criminal, Instructions to jury, Hearsay, Record, Capital case.  Witness, Cross-examination, Credibility.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 7, 2006.   The cases were tried before Leila R. Kern, J.     Jeffrey L. Baler for the defendant. Catherine Langevin Semel, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     CORDY, J.  On April 22, 2006, Maria Sastre was beaten to death with a hammer in her home.  When one of her children, Jesus, attempted to intervene, he, too, was beaten with the hammer but was able to escape.  Soon thereafter, the defendant, Levi Omar Alcantara, called the police from a nearby gasoline station claiming that he had also been a victim of the attacks in Maria’s home.  In contrast, both Jesus and his brother, Christopher, identified the defendant as the assailant.  The handle of the hammer tested positive for the defendant’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and red-brown stains on the defendant’s clothing were consistent with the DNA of both Maria and Jesus. The defendant was indicted for murder in the first degree, assault with intent to kill, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.  A jury convicted him of all of the charges, including murder in the first degree by reason of extreme atrocity or cruelty.  On appeal, the defendant assigns error to several evidentiary rulings made by the trial judge.  We find no reversible error and no basis for exercising our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to reduce the level of guilt or to order a new trial.  Accordingly, we affirm the defendant’s convictions. 1.  Background.  a.  The trial.  We recite the facts that the jury could have found, reserving certain details for the issues raised on appeal.  On April 22, 2006, Jesus awoke to the sound of his mother screaming inside their home on Washington Street in Lawrence.  On further investigation, he observed a man beating his mother with a hammer.  Another of Maria’s children, Christopher, then observed the assailant on top of Jesus, beating him with the hammer.  Jesus was […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 1, 2015 at 7:28 pm

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