Posts tagged "Chappell"

Commonwealth v. Chappell (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-187-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11687   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DESHAWN CHAPPELL.       Suffolk.     September 11, 2015. – November 23, 2015. Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Duffly, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Fair trial.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Consciousness of guilt, State of mind, Insanity. Witness, Expert.  Insanity.  Mental Health.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, State of mind, Confrontation of witnesses, Instructions to jury.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 24, 2011.   The case was tried before by Jeffrey A. Locke, J.     Stephen Neyman for the defendant. Matthew T. Sears, Assistant District Attorney (Edmund J. Zabin, Assistant District Attorney, with him) for the Commonwealth.     BOTSFORD, J.  On January 20, 2011, Stephanie Moulton, a residential counsellor at a mental health facility in Revere, was killed while she was at work.  The defendant, a resident of the facility, was charged with her murder.  Principally at issue at the defendant’s subsequent jury trial was his mental state at the time of the killing; the defendant presented a defense of lack of criminal responsibility.  On October 28, 2013, the jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation. In his appeal from the conviction, the defendant argues that the trial judge erred by (1) permitting the Commonwealth to present evidence concerning deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing through an expert witness who had not performed the DNA testing herself; (2) impermissibly limiting the direct examination of the defendant’s primary mental health expert witness; (3) providing the jury with an inadequate instruction regarding the consequences of a verdict of not guilty by reason of lack of criminal responsibility; and (4) failing to limit the jury’s consideration of evidence of consciousness of guilt solely to the issue of the defendant’s mental state at the time the crime was committed.  He also requests relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We affirm the defendant’s conviction, and after a thorough review of the record, we decline to grant relief pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E. 1.  Background.[1]  a.  The offense.  We summarize the facts the jury could have found.  Prior to January, 2011, the defendant was a resident of Perkins House, a moderate-intensity, residential mental health facility in the Charlestown section of Boston.[2]  Following an altercation […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

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