October 2010 Archives

October 27, 2010

Boston Police Officer Arrested for Domestic Violence: Charged with Assault & Battery

A Boston Police Officer has been charged with two counts of Assault & Battery arising from a domestic altercation that involved his wife and mother-in-law last weekend.

David Marchant, 26, of Dorchester and a patrolman for the Boston Police Department, was arraigned on two charges of Assault & Battery. A not guilty plea was entered at his arraignment, and he was released on $200 cash bail.

According to the Boston Police Department, Marchant allegedly returned home with his wife after a night out and began arguing. As the argument escalated, Marchant allegedly pushed and slapped his wife, at which point his mother-in-law tried to diffuse things. Marchant then allegedly pushed her. The argument between Marchant and his wife allegedly continued to the second floor, and it was reported that he again slapped his wife, which caused her to fall down a flight of stairs. Believing her daughter was unconscious as a result of the fall, the mother-in-law called 911.

Following his arraignment, the Boston Police Department reported that the officer had been placed on administrative duty and has taken his department-issued firearm and ammunition pending the Boston Police Department's Internal Affairs investigation.

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October 25, 2010

Lawrence Man Victim of Carjacking, Then Charged in Attempted Murder

A Lawrence man was the victim of a carjacking earlier this afternoon in Lawrence, Massachusetts. According to the Lawrence Police Department, the man was carjacked by two men known to him, and after the attack, the victim tracked the men down, whom he apparently knew.

When Police found the vehicle, occupied by the two carjacking perpetrators, they discovered the driver, one of the suspects, had been shot in the stomach, allegedly by the victim of the carjacking. The victim of the carjacking is to be charged with Assault with Intent to Murder, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Possession of a Loaded Firearm.

Meanwhile, the two carjacking perpetrators are to be charged with Carjacking and Assault with a Deadly Weapon. All men are expected to be arraigned tomorrow morning in Lawrence District Court on their respective charges.

If nothing else, this incident illustrates that police and District Attorney's Offices will not tolerate citizens' taking matters into their own hands, particular where a victim of a crime allegedly retaliates with deadly force.

Where Defense of Property is Lawful in Massachusetts:
The law in Massachusetts does recognize a person's right to defend his property, but that right is limited.

A person may use reasonable force, but not deadly force, to defend his lawful property against someone who has no right to take it. He may also use reasonable force, but not deadly force, to regain lawful possession of the property where his possession has been momentarily interrupted by someone with no right to the property.

In circumstances where a person uses force to regain possession of his own property, how much force is reasonable depends on the situation. A person who uses what is clearly excessive and unreasonable force becomes an aggressor and loses the right to act in defense of his property.

In Massachusetts, 'deadly force' is considered to be that force that is intended to, or likely to, kill or seriously injure someone. It refers to the level of force the person used, not to the degree of injury, if any, to the alleged victim.

Continue reading "Lawrence Man Victim of Carjacking, Then Charged in Attempted Murder" »

October 23, 2010

Framingham Man Indicted for Murdering His Wife

Kyle Alleyne, 25, of Framingham, Massachusetts, was indicted for Murder Charges by a Middlesex County Grand Jury in connection with the death of his wife, Heather Alleyne, 19, whose body was found in the couple's home on August 9th.

According to the MIddlesex County District Attorney's Office, Kyle Alleyne has been indicted for First Degree Murder, Assault & Battery, and Reckless Endangerment of a Child.

The body of Heather Alleyne was found on August 9th after her family asked the Framingham Police Department to conduct a well-being check. Police Officers responded to the couple's apartment and discovered her body, and reported obvious signs of a struggle, blood and an attempted clean up of evidence.

The Massachusetts Office of the Medical Examiner determined that Heather Alleyne's death was a homicide caused by sharp force wounds of the neck, torse and extremeties with injuries of large blood vessels and the larynx. Although her body was discovered on August 9th, the medical examiner opined that she had been dead since August 4th or 5th.

Kyle Alleyne was arrested on August 15th by law enforcement authorities in Texas.

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October 20, 2010

Boston City Employee Faces Drug Trafficking Charges

Gregory J. Joran, 30, of Hyde Park, Massachusetts, is facing Drug Charges for trying to pickup a FedEx package containing thousands of illicit pills, including oxycodone and alprazolam (xanax). He is to be charged with Drug Trafficking and Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs.

The Boston Police Department, along with the Massachusetts State Police, allegedly received a tip to investigate a package that was delivered to a FedEx/Kinkos in Boston's Post Office Square. The police officers opened the package, confirmed it contained drugs, and then resealed it.

According to Boston Police, Horan arrived later that morning to pickup the package. Once he walked out with it, police were waiting and arrested him. Aside from the package, he was also found to allegedly possess two plastic bags containing 21 oxycodone pills and 25 oxycontin pills.

According to the Mayor's Office, Horan was employed by the City of Boston's Human Resources Department as a worker's compensation claims agent. He is the second City of Boston employee that has been arrested on drug charges. Last year, John M. Forbes, who was employed as the Mayor's liason for East Boston, was arrested when he allegedly tried to sell 125 oxycontin tablets for $5,000 to a confidential informant.

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October 19, 2010

Quincy Woman Who Starred in "Gone Baby Gone" Arrested for Breaking & Entering

Jill_Quigg_101910-thumb-200x280-23634.jpgJill Quigg, who got a role in the film "Gone Baby Gone" was arrested and charged in Quincy District Court with Breaking & Entering in the Daytime, Larceny Over $250, and Malicious Destruction of Property.

According to the Quincy Police Department, witnesses reported seeing Quigg and Georgios Keskinidis, 28 of Lynn, near the apartment building, and carrying a flat-screen TV and a computer printer. When Quincy Police Officers approached the pair, Quigg allegedly told them she saw a black male breaking into the apartment, and that she and Keskinidis chased the man, who then dropped the stolen items. Quigg said she took the items only for safekeeping.

In Massachusetts, the crime of Breaking & Entering in the Daytime is a felony that is punishable by up to 2 years in the House of Corrections of up to 10 years in state prison. In order to be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  1. The defendant broke into a building belonging to another person;

  2. He/she did so with the intent to commit a felony in that building; and

  3. The act was committed in the daytime.
Under Massachusetts criminal law, "breaking" is defined as exerting physical force, however slight, and forcibly removing an obstruction and gaining entry. However, opening a door, even if unlocked, or even going through an open window, is considered a "breaking."

Continue reading "Quincy Woman Who Starred in "Gone Baby Gone" Arrested for Breaking & Entering" »

October 18, 2010

Two Dorchester Teens Arrested in Armed Robbery of iPhone

Lamont Sands and Arthur Willis, both 19 and from Dorchester, Massachusetts, were both charged in the Boston Municipal Court last week in connection with robbing a man of his iPhone on Boylston Street. Both teens were charged with Armed Robbery and Receiving Stolen Property and held on $10,000 bail.

The Boston Police Department alleges that Sands and Willis approached a man on Boylston street, and one of them stuck his hands in his pocket as if he had a gun. The two teens threatened to shoot the man if he didn't give up his cell phone. After the man gave Boston Police Officers a description of the teens, Sands and Willis were stopped in an alley near Westland Avenue.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office reports that Sands and Willis are believed to have been involved in selling stolen iPhones. They are believed to be responsible for at least 13 robberies since this past July.

In cases such as these, i.e., Armed Robbery from a street encounter, one of the most challenging issues prosecutors face is overcoming a Defense of Identification. In similar criminal cases which I have taken to trial and been successful, challenging the victim's purported identification, most likely the central piece of evidence in this case, puts the prosecutor's case to the test.

In every criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden of proving the identity of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime(s) beyond a reasonable doubt. In evaluating whether the prosecutor has met his burden, the jury will be instructed by the judge to consider several issues, including:

  • whether they are convinced the witness had the capacity, and an adequate opportunity, to view his/her assailants;

  • how long or short a time was available for the observation;

  • the lighting conditions; and

  • the length of time that lapsed between the occurrence of the crime and the identification of the defendant(s).

Although identifying someone as the perpetrator of the crime may seem very easy to do, a number of evidentiary issues can complicate and call into question the identification. For example, if Sands and Willis were not in possession of the victim's property when they were arrested, that may lead to arguing that they were the subjects of a mistaken identification, particularly if the details in the description that was provided to the Boston Police Officers was vague. In other words, a description such as: "two black males, 18-22 years old, wearing all black", without further descriptions such as hair style, height or body type or other distinguishing characteristics, is extremely vague and does nothing for distinguishing these two individuals from any other black males in their community.

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October 13, 2010

Wilmington Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions from Comedian Half-Brother Dane Cook

Darryl McCauley, of Wilmington, pled Guilty to stealing millions of dollars from his celebrity comedian half-brother, Dane Cook.

McCauley had been indicted in Middlesex Superior Court on 27 counts of Larceny Over $250, three counts of Forgery, Embezzlement, Uttering, and Conspiracy. McCauley allegedly stole millions from Dane Cook when he worked as his business manager from the early 1990's to December of 2008. The indictment alleged that he wrote company checks to himself and transferred funds to his personal bank account.

As a result of his plea deal, McCauley was sentenced to five to six years in state prison.

In Massachusetts, Larceny is the wrongful taking of the personal property from another person, with the intent to deprive that person of that property permanently. In order to be convicted of the crime of Larceny, the prosecutor is required to prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant took the property;
  2. That the property belonged to someone other than the defendant;
  3. That the property was taken from the person who owned it or from the other person's immediate control; and
  4. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.

Embezzlement, on the the other hand, is the unlawful conversion of the property of another with the intent to steal it. The crime of Embezzlement is met if the prosecutor can prove:

  1. That the defendant, while in a position of trust or confidence, was entrusted with possession of personal property belonging to another person;
  2. That the defendant fraudulently took, hid or converted that property for his own use without the consent of the owner; and
  3. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently.

Click here for other White Collar Crimes.

Continue reading "Wilmington Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions from Comedian Half-Brother Dane Cook" »

October 12, 2010

Cambridge Man Charged with Stabbing of Boston College Student in Newton

A Cambridge man, who had already been released on bail on earlier Drug Charges, was re-arrested and arraigned in Brighton District Court this morning for stabbing a Boston College student in Newton on September 25.

The defendant, Francisco "Wizz" Ramirez, 18, of Cambridge, was arraigned in Brighton District Court on criminal charges including Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon for stabbing Jeremiah Hegarty.

Boston Police, Newton Police and Massachusetts State Police involved in the stabbing investigation report that Ramirez stabbed the Boston College student near his dormitory after 3:00 a.m. on the morning of September 25. The incident was allegedly initiated when Ramirez, along with four other people, tried to gain access to the dorm. When they were told to leave, a physical altercation ensued that resulted in one student getting kicked, and Hegarty being stabbed.

A second defendant, Santos Carrasquillo, was also arraigned on charges of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon for allegedly kicking the other Boston College student.

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October 10, 2010

Brockton Murder Witness Assassinated, Two Arrested for Murder

Joao Fernandes, 28, and Michael Goncalves, 25, have both been charged with the Murder of Manuel Rodrigues. Rodrigues, reportedly a key prosecution witness against Michael Barros, who is scheduled to soon be tried for the Murder of Moises Vicente, was shot multiple times at his girlfriend's home on February 17.

Fernandes and Goncalves are alleged to hot cooperated jointly in the execution of Rodrigues. Brockton Police Officers, along with the Massachusetts State Police, FBI and DEA, had obtained a Search Warrant for Fernandes' Brockton home yesterday. At the Brockton home, they discovered several weapon, and were then went to Taunton where they believed Goncalves could be located. Eventually, Goncalves was arrested in a car, in which was also located crack cocaine and a gun.

Both Fernandes and Goncalves were arraigned in Brockton District Court this past week on First Degree Murder Charges, several Gun / Firearms Charges, as well as Trafficking in Cocaine.

In many major felony cases, especially Murder cases, a testifying witnesses' safety remains a major concern. What the media often portrays is the story that the person was killed for 'doing the right thing.' Prosecutors, however, know that witness safety is a tremendous concern, and I really question whether enough is being done to ensure their safety.

The reality is that protecting witnesses is not like it is in the movies. There are few times when the police are giving 24 hour protection, or if witnesses are actually relocated, such as in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Of all the murders committed in Massachusetts alone, few are really ever followed through to trial and reported extensively by the media, and so the concern for influence safety is, conversely, not great. Sure, the crime when committed is covered, and the various District Attorney's Offices take the podium and make their speeches when an arrest is made, but soon thereafter, unless it's a high profile case, it just becomes another case.

For the witnesses, however, what happens to them after they testify? The prosecution may or may not have gotten its conviction, but either way, it's thank you and have a nice day. Should anything happen, it's chalked up as just another grim statistic in the unfortunate reality of the world in which we live.

Continue reading "Brockton Murder Witness Assassinated, Two Arrested for Murder" »

October 7, 2010

Cambridge Home Invasion Suspect Arrested, Also Suspected in Rape of 2 Brighton Women

Marcos A. Colono was arraigned in Cambridge District Court in Medford in connection with the Rape of an 11 year old boy in Cambridge this past August, as well as for brutally assaulting the boy's father who came to his son's defense.

He was charged with two counts of Rape of a Child by Force; Home Invasion; and Armed Assault to Murder. Following his arraignment in Cambridge District Court, he was ordered held on $1 million bail.

The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office alleges that Colono entered the victims' apartment with a large butcher knife and forced the 11 year old boy to lie on top of his father while he searched the home for things to steal. He then allegedly brought the father and son to a bedroom, where he assaulted the boy at knifepoint. Upon the boy resisting Colono's demands, he allegedly stabbed the father 8-10 times in the neck, and 3 times in the back, almost severing his head.

After scouring the crime scene for evidence, forensic investigators from the Cambridge Police Department allegedly matched a bloody handprint found on the wall in the home to Colono's prints, which have been on file since 1998 from previous arrests.

Marcos Colono is now also a suspect in the Rape of two college students that occurred in Brighton in 2008. In those incidents, Colono is believed to have forced two women to lie on top of each other while he sexually assaulted both of them. He has not yet been charged with these Rapes, but the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office reports that they believe Colono's DNA profile will match forensic evidence collected from the Cambridge and Brighton incidents.

If the name sounds familiar, Colono is the brother of Michael Colono, 18, who was stabbed to death by Harvard student Alexander Pring-Wilson in 2003.

Continue reading "Cambridge Home Invasion Suspect Arrested, Also Suspected in Rape of 2 Brighton Women" »

October 6, 2010

Brother of Murder Victim Charged with Kidnapping and Assault & Battery on Girlfriend

Robert Curley, 32, was charged with beating his girlfriend over a period of two hours in his home in Revere last week. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Curley repeatedly punched and kicked his girlfriend in the head and all over her body.

At one point during the alleged incident, when the girlfriend tried to escape and call the police, he took her cell phone and dragged her back into the home. According to prosecutors, after the beating, he promised to take her to the hospital, but only if she agreed to tell the doctors that she fell.

Curley was arraigned in Chelsea District Court on several Crimes of Violence Charges, including Mayhem, Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Kidnapping, and Intimidation of a Witness. Following his arraignment, a Dangerousness Hearing was held and Curley was held without bail, the judge finding that no bail or conditions of release would assure the safety of the community.

Dangerousness Hearings:
If someone is arrested for a Crime of Violence or for a felony that involves the use or threat of physical force, the prosecutor could ask the Judge to order that person held without bail.

To detain a person without bail, a "Dangerousness Hearing" is held and the Judge must find that, by the relatively low standard of 'clear and convincing evidence', that "no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community."

Roberty Curley is the brother of Jeffrey Curley, who was 10 years old at the time when he was abducted in 1997 by two men who promised him a new bike. He was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered.

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October 5, 2010

Tewksbury Man Charged with Statutory Rape of 14 Year Old Girl

David Avery, 31 of Tewksbury, was arraigned yesterday in Salem District Court on two counts of Statutory Rape against a 14 year old girl.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, the girl mistakenly sent Avery a text message earlier this summer. Avery continued to text with the girl, however, and eventually convinced her to meet with him sometime in August after a back and forth of sexually explicit text messages. The girl alleges that she me with Avery in a wooded area in Salem on August 21, where he sexually assaulted her.

The Sex Crime of Statutory Rape carries a potential punishment of a state prison sentence for any term of years, up to life. Additionally, a conviction for Statutory Rape, as with other Sex Crimes, would render Avery subject to Sex Offender Registration with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry and could result in a term of community parole supervision for life.

Statutory Rape is what's called a 'strict liability crime,' meaning that even consent of the victim, and/or reasonable mistake as to the age of the victim is not a defense.

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October 4, 2010

Murder of Waltham Man by Newton North High School Senior was Planned

In a follow-up to the Boston Criminal Lawyer's Blog Post of October 1st, new information has been released concerning the Murder of Adam Coveney, of Waltham, that occurred last week.

Middlesex County prosecutors believe that 21 year old Daniel Louis, of West Roxbury, was the one who actually shot and murdered Coveney, but that 17 year old Newton North High School student Benjamin Peirce was the one who lured him into the parking lot under the guise of buying drugs from him.

Another defendant, Shaquan Jacobs, 18 of Newton, also allegedly assisted Louis and helped him attack Coveney just before Louis shot him. Additionally, a fourth person, Wallace Duarte, 17 of Waltham, is alleged to have driven everyone to the scene of the Murder, and allegedly knew of the robbery scheme ahead of time.

The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office has indicated that this is a class case of Felony Murder. Felony Murder is Murder that is committed in the commission or the attempted commission of a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life, in this case, Armed Robbery.

In order to succeed on the crime of Felony Murder, the prosecutor must prove that the killing occurred in connection with the felony and at substantially the same time and place. A killing could also be deemed Felony Murder if it occurred as part of the defendant's effort to escape responsibility for that felony.

For their role, Benjamin Peirce, Daniel Louis and Shaquan Jacobs have all been charged with Murder and are being held without bail. Duarte was arraigned as Accessory After the Fact to Murder, and was held on $20,000 cash bail.

New Details Emerge in Shooting Death of Waltham Man During Drug Robbery, as reported by Brian R. Ballou and John R. Ellement, Boston Globe Staff.

Continue reading "Murder of Waltham Man by Newton North High School Senior was Planned" »

October 2, 2010

Boston Police Arrest Dorchester Man in Connection with Mattapan Murders

Kimani Washington, 35, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, was arrested yesterday in connection with the Mattapan murders that took the lives of four people, one of which was a 2 year old boy. Although Washington was not charged with Murder, he was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle.

As reported in the Boston Criminal Lawyer's Blog on September 28th, Simba Martin, Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Eyanna Smith and her 2 year old son were all found naked and shot to death at 40 Woolson Street in Mattapan in what is believed to be a drug deal gone bad.

A 5th victim, Marcus Hurd, still remains hospitalized from gunshot wounds and is in critical condition. Boston Police have previously stated that he is not expected to survive. Prior to Hurd falling unconscious in his hospital bed, he reportedly told police that he had gone to buy marijuana and that someone had shot him and taken the car.

Meanwhile, Boston Police Officers obtained a Search Warrant and searched the home of Kimani Washington's stepfather, Charles Collins, which is located less than 2 miles away from where the murders took place. Boston Police report that, as a result of their search, they recovered a gun they believe is linked to the Murders in Washington's bedroom.

According to Collins, his step-son, Kimani Washington, did return to the house early Tuesday morning and went into his brother's room, spoke to someone out on the balcony, and then left in a car. Collins reportedly has not seen or heard from Washington since that time.

Continue reading "Boston Police Arrest Dorchester Man in Connection with Mattapan Murders" »

October 1, 2010

Newton North High School Senior Charged with Murder of Waltham Man

Benjamin Peirce, a 17 year-old senior at Newton North High School, was arrested today and arraigned in Waltham District Court for the shooting and killing of Adam Coveney, 29, in his own apartment in Waltham. Peirce was charged with Murder and Armed Assault to Commit Murder.

The Waltham Police Department reports that officers responded to Coveney's apartment shortly after 11:03 p.m. last night after reports of gunfire in the area. Once in the apartment building, Coveney was found wounded and rushed to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Middlesex County District Attorney and Waltham Police Department believe that Peirce and a group of friends went to Coveney's apartment in Waltham under the ruse to buy drugs, but with the intention of robbing him of his drugs and money.

It's not known how many other people were with Peirce, but I would expect there may be additional arrests and charges for these individuals, including Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Armed Robbery and Gun / Firearms Charges.

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