Posts tagged "Gorham"

Commonwealth v. Gorham (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-114-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-10587   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KYRON A. GORHAM.       Bristol.     March 6, 2015. – July 8, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Intent.  Intoxication.  Evidence, Intent, Intoxication.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, New trial, Postconviction relief, Assistance of counsel.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 2, 2007.   The case was tried before Gary A. Nickerson, J.; motions for a new trial and for funds, filed on June 25, 2010, were considered by him, and a motion for reconsideration, filed on June 14, 2012, was also considered by him.     John H. Cunha, Jr. (Charles Allan Hope with him) for the defendant. Owen J. Murphy, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     SPINA, J.  The defendant appeals from his conviction of deliberately premeditated murder.  At trial, the defendant claimed he intended only to scare the victim, but his rifle discharged accidentally when the victim grabbed the barrel in an attempt to disarm the defendant.  Represented by new counsel on appeal, the defendant filed a motion for a new trial in which he claimed (1) ineffective assistance of counsel based on trial counsel’s failure to investigate a defense of “diminished capacity” caused by the voluntary consumption of alcohol, and (2) newly discovered evidence of the defendant’s intoxication at the time of the killing.  He also filed a motion for funds for an investigator.  The motions were denied without a hearing by the trial judge, who also denied without a hearing the defendant’s motion for reconsideration.  On appeal the defendant argues that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, and that the denials of his postconviction motions were an abuse of discretion.  We affirm the convictions and the denial of the defendant’s postconviction motions.  We also decline to exercise our powers under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. 1.  Background.  The jury could have found the following facts.  We reserve other details for discussion of particular issues.  The defendant was one of ten to fifteen people who attended a party hosted by Kayla Aguiar at her home in Fall River on January 16, 2007.  People were drinking alcohol, and it is not clear whether drugs also were used.  The defendant did not appear intoxicated.  The defendant left the party to get more beer.  While he […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm

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