Violent Crime

Case Name: Commonwealth v. J.
Lead Charge: Assault and Battery
Summary: Defendant, at the time of the alleged offense on a 3 to 5 year suspended state prison sentence, was charged with the assault and battery of a family member. The victim claimed virtually no memory of the incident due to intoxication. The Commonwealth contended the failure of memory was to protect the family member from imposition of the state prison sentence. (Defendant's Superior Court probation officer stated that the outcome of the District Court trial would be determinative of the Superior Court matter.) The Commonwealth proceeded to trial by attempting to use numerous excited utterances. The defense was successful in excluding, after briefing following a voir dire, all but the first statement to a neighbor on the notion that later statements to the police were materially different from the first statement. The defense was prepared to call numerous witnesses to substantiate the sobriety of the defendant and intoxication of family member (the police minimized and/or denied these positions). During trial, the Commonwealth's case deteriorated further when gross inconsistencies in police testimony as to bruising and the presence of a third party was explored on cross-examination. Given the limited excited utterance testimony and deterioration of the Commonwealth's case, the defendant was acquitted.

Case Name: Commonwealth v. A.
Lead Charge: Assault/Violation of c. 209A
Summary: The defendant who had plead guilty to the manslaughter of his brother was charged (by his wife) with assault, threats to commit murder, and a subsequent violation of a restraining order. The defense in the matter consisted in the use of witnesses who would testify to as to motive to lie and fabricate, the creditability of the complaining witness, and other issues. Following trial, the defendant was acquitted.

Case Name: Commonwealth v. D.
Lead charges: Assault and battery on a police officer, violation of a restraining order, negligent operation
Summary: The defense raised a lack of criminal responsibility defense on the grounds that a preexisting mental disease was exacerbated by the recent activities of the defendant's wife. The jury returned NGI verdicts on restraining order violations, a not guilty verdict on the negligent operation during flight, and a guilty verdict on the assault and battery on the police officer charge. Given the mitigating evidence raised, the defendant was not sentenced to jail. An appeal was filed since the judge refused to charge on excessive force. Testimony was elicited on cross-examination that the defendant was cooperative, the police officer "shoved" the defendant down some stairs prior any assault, and that the police officer was the first to make contact.

Case Name: Commonwealth v. M.
Major charge: Assault with a dangerous weapon
Summary: The defense raised a defense of lack of criminal responsibility defense. This defense was abandoned mid-trial when it became clear that the Commonwealth would fail in its effort to prove the major felony and most misdemeanor charges. The defendant was convicted only of disorderly conduct.

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