Posts tagged "Mercier"

Commonwealth v. Mercier (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-098-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-550                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MATTHEW MERCIER. No. 14-P-550. Middlesex.     May 7, 2015. – August 7, 2015.   Present:  Trainor, Agnes, & Blake, JJ.     Jurisdiction, Juvenile Court, Juvenile delinquency proceeding. Juvenile Court, Jurisdiction.  Practice, Criminal, Complaint, Indictment.  Youthful Offender Act.  Delinquent Child.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 6, 2012.   The cases were tried before Janet Kenton-Walker, J.     Patrick Levin, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.      AGNES, J.  The principal issue raised by the defendant, Matthew Mercier, is whether his conviction in 2013 of raping his younger cousin on two occasions in 2008 must be vacated due to a jurisdictional defect at the outset of the case.  In particular, he maintains that the case against him was commenced in the Juvenile Court Department by means of an indictment and not by a juvenile complaint, in violation of the requirements of G. L.  c. 119, § 74, as appearing in St. 1996, c. 200, § 15, which provides in relevant part that “[e]xcept as hereinafter provided and as provided in [G. L. c. 119, §§ 52-84, . . . no criminal proceeding shall be begun against any person who prior to his seventeenth birthday commits an offense against the laws of the commonwealth . . . .”[1]  Although the charges are very serious, and a Superior Court jury returned verdicts of guilty, we are constrained to agree with the defendant and, accordingly, order the judgments to be vacated.[2] Background.  On December 23, 2010, the case was commenced against the defendant by means of a youthful offender (YO) indictment returned by a Middlesex County grand jury.[3]  A juvenile complaint was never sought nor issued. Following an evidentiary hearing conducted by the Juvenile Court on July 11, 2012, a judge found probable cause to believe the defendant had raped his younger cousin while the defendant was sixteen years old and the victim was nine years old.[4]  The defendant was not apprehended until 2010, after he turned eighteen years of age.  Based on the probable cause determination, the judge dismissed the YO indictment, ordered “the transfer of prosecution” to the District Court, and requested issuance of adult criminal complaints.  On December 6, 2012, a Middlesex County grand jury indicted the defendant as an […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 8, 2015 at 1:04 am

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