Case Name: Commonwealth v. C.
Lead Charge: Breaking and Entering
Summary: The defendant, who at the time of this alleged offense was on a 18 month suspended jail sentence, was charged with breaking and entering in the night-time. The defense consisted of putting the Commonwealth to its proof. Prior to trial, it became clear that the guilt of the defendant would not be easy to prove. The identification of the defendant brought out on cross-examination was fleeting and inaccurate in describing the defendant. Further, the testimony of other individuals placing the stolen property in the hands of the defendant was coerced from individuals who knew the defendant. Repeated objections and at times continuing objections were necessary to ensure both the evidentiary and constitutional rights of the defendant. The defendant did not testify and no affirmative evidence was offered. Immediately following trial, the court ruled that the evidence although suggesting some involvement did not prove by a fair preponderance of the evidence a violation of probation and no violation of probation was found.
Case Name: Commonwealth v. S.
Lead Charge: Receiving Stolen Property, to wit a handgun
Summary: Defendant was complained of as the individual who had given an informant a stolen handgun. It was alleged that defendant had met and agreed to pay the informant to drive defendant to another location. After driving defendant around, the informant drove defendant to woods, and, there, defendant retrieved a hand gun which he gave to the informant. An informant’s family member discovered the gun and called the police. Defendant was identified in a photographic array as the participant. (Earlier, however, he had claimed to another individual had given him the gun.) The informant testified under an agreement that a handgun charge against him would be dismissed if he testified against defendant. During trial, the informant also testified that defendant had threatened him. The defense argument to the jury was that the informant was either mistaken or outright lying. The defendant was acquitted.