Posts tagged "French"

Commonwealth v. French (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-031-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12012   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ERIC S. FRENCH.     February 14, 2017.     Breaking and Entering.  Larceny.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding.  Evidence, Fingerprints, Identification.  Identification.     Following a jury-waived trial in the District Court, a judge found the defendant, Eric S. French, guilty of breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a felony, in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 18, and larceny of property over $ 250, in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 30 (1).  The defendant  appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions.[1]  The Appeals Court, in a divided decision, affirmed the judgments.  See Commonwealth v. French, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 477 (2015).  The case is now before this court on further appellate review.  Because we conclude that the evidence was not sufficient to find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the crimes charged, we reverse.   Background.  The convictions stem from a break-in and robbery that occurred at a market in Springfield in August, 2013.  At trial, one of the proprietors of the store testified that she closed the store at 6 P.M. on August 30.  She returned to the store “during the night” after being notified of a break-in.  When she arrived she saw that “[s]omebody had broken in on the side window and taken the panel out and climbed in.”  She also testified that approximately $ 400 to $ 500 worth of cigarettes had been stolen.   Several Springfield police officers also testified.  Officer Eugene Rooke responded to a call to go to the market on the morning of August 31, and arrived there with his partner at approximately 7:20 A.M.  When they arrived, they spoke with two men who lived next door to the store and who had alerted the police that a front window to the store was “missing.”  Officer Rooke saw that the plexiglass window pane from the window located to the right of the front door had been removed and was set against the door.  Photographs entered as exhibits at trial show the plexiglass leaning against the front door, next to the window frame from which it had been removed.   Officer Rooke estimated that when the plexiglass was intact, inside the window frame, the top of it was more than six feet, four inches from the ground.  Additionally, he saw a milk […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 14, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. French (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-158-15)

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   14-P-1257                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ERIC S. FRENCH. No. 14-P-1257. Hampden.     May 13, 2015. – October 9, 2015.   Present:  Trainor, Agnes, & Blake, JJ. Breaking and Entering.  Larceny.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding.  Evidence, Fingerprints, Identification. Identification.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Springfield Division of the District Court Department on September 27, 2013.   The case was heard by Christopher P. LoConto, J.     Joseph Visone for the defendant. Alyson Yorlano, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.      BLAKE, J.  Following a jury-waived trial, a judge of the District Court found the defendant guilty of breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a felony, and larceny of property over $ 250.  On appeal, the defendant argues that absent additional evidence linking him to the crimes, a latent fingerprint was legally insufficient to support the convictions.  Because we conclude that the Commonwealth did, in fact, present further circumstantial evidence, we affirm the defendant’s convictions. Background.  The undisputed facts are as follows.  On August 30, 2013, Albano’s Market in the city of Springfield closed at 6:00 P.M.  When the proprietor left, the door was locked and all windows were in place.  She returned early the following morning after she was informed that there was an open window at the store.  Once at the store, both she and a police officer noted that a plexiglass windowpane had been removed from its frame and left leaning against the front door of the store.  The empty window frame was about two and one-half feet wide, over six feet from the ground at its highest point, and located to the right of the store’s front door.  Beneath the window frame was a “little knee wall.”  The police officer also observed a milk crate in front of the same door, which he surmised the thief had used to gain entry into the store.  Items inside the store had been knocked to the floor from their shelves.  The proprietor reported that cigarettes were missing, the value of which was about $ 400 to $ 500, in addition to an undetermined amount of change. The subsequent police investigation yielded latent fingerprints “around the sides” of the upper half of the plexiglass windowpane, “like if you lifted it and put it to the side.”[1]  Springfield police Detective Juan […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,