Posts tagged "Drayton"

Commonwealth v. Drayton (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-170-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-10667   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KENJI DRAYTON.       Suffolk.     April 10, 2015. – October 1, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Firearms.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Fingerprints, Hearsay, Declaration of deceased person.  Constitutional Law, Right to hearing.  Witness, Expert.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, New trial, Hearsay, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 11, 2001.   The cases were tried before Regina L. Quinlan, J., and motions for a new trial, filed on December 12, 2006, and April 2, 2012, were heard by her.     Cathryn A. Neaves for the defendant. Teresa K. Anderson, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     LENK, J.  The defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree for a shooting that took place in an alleged territorial conflict over the control of a “crack house,” an apartment used to sell “crack” cocaine.  The bulk of the evidence at trial against the defendant and his codefendant at trial, Levino Williams, who was acquitted, derived from the testimony of a single witness, James Jackson.  Jackson was a crack addict and alcoholic who lived in the apartment, allowed others to sell drugs there in exchange for free drugs, and claimed to have witnessed the defendant shoot the victim, Michael Greene.  Approximately one and one-half years after the defendant’s conviction, another individual, Debra Bell,[1] came forward.  Explaining that she had been diagnosed with metastatic cancer and did not want her failure to disclose what she knew about the shooting on her conscience, Debra claimed in an affidavit that she was with Jackson using drugs and having sex in the bathroom of the apartment at the time the shooting took place, and that as a result Jackson could not have seen the shooting. Based on Debra’s affidavit, the defendant moved for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence.  Defense counsel also moved to take a videotaped deposition to preserve Debra’s testimony.  Debra died, however, one week after the motion was filed, and before the judge acted on it.  The motion judge, who was also the trial judge, concluded that Debra’s affidavit was inadmissible hearsay, and denied the motion for a new trial.  The defendant later submitted a second motion for a new trial, which the judge also […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm

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