Posts tagged "Dustin"

Commonwealth v. Dustin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-182-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12036   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DONALD DUSTIN.     November 23, 2016.     Assault and Battery.  Words, “Substantive dating relationship.”     After a jury trial, the defendant, Donald Dustin, was convicted in the Marlborough Division of the District Court Department of assault and battery on a family or household member, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 13M (a).[1]  We granted the defendant’s application for direct appellate review to consider the “substantive dating relationship” element of § 13M (a).[2]  We affirm.   Timing of the defendant’s motion.  The defendant did not make a timely motion at the close of the Commonwealth’s case for a required finding of not guilty with respect to the assault and battery charge.[3]  See Mass. R. Crim. P. 25 (a), as amended, 420 Mass. 1502 (1995).  See also Commonwealth v. Brown, 449 Mass. 747, 762 (2007).  Had he done so, we would have considered only the evidence admitted during the Commonwealth’s case-in-chief to decide “whether the Commonwealth presented sufficient evidence of the defendant’s guilt to submit the case to the jury.”[4]  Commonwealth v. Platt, 440 Mass. 396, 400 (2003).  See Brown, supra; Commonwealth v. Berry, 431 Mass. 326, 331-332 (2000).  Cf. Commonwealth v. Hurley, 455 Mass. 53, 69 n.15 (2009) (motion for required finding filed “after the Commonwealth has rested and before the defense was invited to present evidence” must be ruled on at that time).  Instead, we consider whether the evidence during the entire trial, including the evidence presented during the defendant’s case, was sufficient to sustain the conviction.   Factual background.  A detailed description of the events of August 28, 2014, which gave rise to the criminal charges, is unnecessary to this appeal.  It suffices to say that in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, see Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 677-678 (1979), there was evidence at trial that the defendant and Stacey D. Rock  were in a parked vehicle when a witness observed an altercation between the two of them.  After they were confronted by the witness, the defendant drove off at a high rate of speed and he was stopped a short time later for various motor vehicle infractions.  A police officer testified that when he asked the defendant why he had been driving “that way,” the defendant replied, “something to the nature of that he was pissed off because he had just […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 23, 2016 at 7:15 pm

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