November 2010 Archives

November 28, 2010

Livery Driver Held up at Gunpoint in Mattapan

The Boston Police Department reports that a livery driver, who picked up two men and was driving them to Mattapan on Saturday afternoon, ended up robbing him of $400 in cash.

The two men allegedly put what the driver believed to be a gun to the back of his head and stole his wedding band, cell phone, earrings and cash. The driver walked to Boston Police District B-3 in Dorchester and gave a description of the suspects. Boston Police Officers reportedly saw two men matching the description given by the driver and followed them to an apartment on Walk Hill Street.

Boston Police ultimately arrested Troy Fernandez, 21, and Molijah Burley, 19, both from Dorchester, and have charged them with Armed Robbery.

While pursuing Fernandez and Burley into the apartment, officers also observed a large bag of marijuana, and ended up arresting three other people for Drug Crimes. Rodney C. Haskin, 22, Phillip Henry, 24, and Sharon M. Thibeau, all of Mattapan, were all arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Marijuana.

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November 27, 2010

Massachusetts State Police Arrest Man for Thanksgiving Day Murder in Chelsea

Dennis Bowen, 22, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, was arrested last night for allegedly stabbing to death Carlos Ramirez, also of Chelsea, on Thanksgiving Day morning this past Thursday.

According to the Chelsea Police Department, Bowen allegedly stabbed Ramirez on Broadway Street in Chelsea after some 'altercation'. At this time, there is no information as to what prompted the altercation, or how Bowen and Ramirez were known to one another.

Last evening, Bowen negotiated through his criminal attorney to turn himself in to the Chelsea Police Department after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Chelsea District Court Monday morning on Murder Charges.

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November 26, 2010

Fall River Woman Charged with Assault to Murder

Mary Huot, of Fall River, Massachusetts, is charged with Assault with Intent to Murder for allegedly driving her car into a large crowd of people.

The incident occurred last Sunday morning when Huot allegedly drove into the crowd, which resulted in injuries to three young women. According to New Bedford Police, a witness told them Huot laughed as she drove her car over the curb and gunned the gas at several people standing on the grass. Huot then allegedly left the scene of the incident.

In addition to Assault with Intent to Murder charges, Huot was also charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injury, and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. She is expected back in court this Monday for a Dangerousness Hearing.

A Dangerousness Hearing is held in those cases where the crime involves a Crimes of Violence or a felony offense that has as an element the use or threat of physical force against another person and where the prosecutor asks the Judge to detain the person without bail. A defendant against whom a petition for detention is requested is entitled to a hearing, at which the Judge must find that the prosecutor has proven that 'no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any person in the community.

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November 25, 2010

Natick's Louis Vuitton Store Robbed of $30,000 of Merchandise

This past Tuesday, three men were caught trying to remove $30,000 worth of merchandise from Natick's Louis Vuitton collection while one of the men ordered an employee to remove the cash from the register.

Natick Police repsonded and arrested Duane White, 44, of Boston. The other two men, however, were able to get away and remain at large to date. According to Natick Police, most of the stolen merchandise, which consisted mostly of purses, were left by the three suspects once officers responded. The cash taken, however, was not recovered.

Duane White is to be charged with Unarmed Robbery.

Unarmed Robbery is the crime where one, not being armed with a dangerous weapon, by force and violence, robs, steals or takes from the person of another money or other property. Massachusetts punishes the crime of Unarmed Robbery with imprisonment for any term of years up to life.

In order to prove the crime of Unarmed Robbery, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant either applied actual force and violence to the victim or put him or her in fear by using threatening words or gestures;

  2. The defendant took the money or other property with the intent to steal it; and

  3. The defendant took the money or other property from the immediate control of the victim.
The actual force and violence, or assault and putting the victim in fear must be the essence of the defendant obtaining possession of the property. This is distinguished from the crime of Armed Robbery, where a dangerous weapon, such as a gun or a knife, was used to obtain the property.

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November 24, 2010

Suffolk County Prosecutors Allege Mattapan Quadruple Murder Resulted from Drug Robbery

Dwayne Moore, 33, was arraigned yesterday morning in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court, charged with four counts of First Degree Murder in connection with the Mattapan murders of four people: Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Simba Martin, Eyanna Flonory, and her 2 year old child, Amanihotep Smith.

At Moore's arraignment in Dorchester, Suffolk County prosecutors alleged that Moore conspired with Kimani Washington to rob Simba Martin, who was allegedly dealing drugs from his Mattapan home on Sutton Avenue. According to prosecutors, Moore lived with Martin at one point in 2010 after being released from state prison following a Manslaughter conviction, and therefore knew about Martin's illegal drug business, and presumably, his stash of drugs and money at his home.

On the night of the murders, September 28, Moore and Washington tried to get Martin to come out of his home, but another man, Marcus Hurd, arrived to purchase drugs of his own. At that point, Moore and Washington forced both Martin and Hurd inside at gunpoint and the two began robbing the home.

After cash, drugs and other items were taken, the two men, one woman and her child were forced out of the home naked and taken to nearby Woolson Street where they were shot multiple times. Only Marcus Hurd has survived the incident but he remains in critical condition.

The day following the murders, Kimani Washington was stopped by Boston Police driving the car that was believed to be linked to Marcus Hurd, and he was arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. As of this date, Washington has not been charged with Murder.

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November 23, 2010

Boston's Triple Murder in Jamaica Plain Believe to be Gang-Related

same old place.jpgThis past Sunday, three young men were Murdered as a result of the gun and knife fight inside the Same Old Place Pizza shop in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Boston Police now believe that the incident was gang-related.

According to the Boston Police Department and witnesses on scene, shots were fired at around 7:30 on Sunday. An altercation that initially began with fists, led to a knife being drawn and then a gun. When Boston Police Officers responded on scene, one 21 year old man was found suffering from stab wounds; another 21 year old man and a 28 year old man both were found to have been shot. All three men were transported to Boston hospitals where they eventually succumbed to their wounds.

A fourth vicitm, a female pedestrian who happened to be in the area at the time shots were fired, was struck in the leg. She was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries where she was treated and released.

At least two of the shooting victims have been identified: one as Ariel Dume, 20, of Dorchester; the other as Johnell Cruz, of Jamaica Plain. A Boston Police spokeswoman revealed today that all three of the victims that were killed in this incident were all 'associated' in some way with gang activity.

To this date in 2010, Boston Police have recorded 70 homicides in the city, compared to only 45 by this time in 2009.

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November 22, 2010

Boston Man Arrested in Quincy Home Invasion

Jose Lorenzo, 22, of Boston, Massachusetts, was arrested in connection with a shooting and Home Invasion that occurred at a Quincy last month. The incident resulted in one man being admitted to the hospital with critical injuries.

Lorenzo is charged with Armed Assault with Intent to Murder, Assault with Intent to Rob, Home Invasion, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, and Larceny of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, Lorenzo's DNA was allegedly found at the scene of the crime. A warrant for his arrest was issued shortly thereafter police discovered his DNA, and Lorenzo was arrested when you appeared to check in with his Probation Officer.

The Quincy Police Department reported that two men broke into the home. Four men were in the home at the time, but the two men were wearing bandanas to conceal their identity. The two men allegedly stole numerous flat screen TV's, cash and computers, and ultimately shot one man in the head. The men allegedly took one of the occupants hostage, later dropping him off on Dorchester Street.

Home Invasion:
Generally speaking, other than Murder and Rape, Home Invasion is considered to be one of the most serious crimes one can be charged with. Home Invasion is the crime of entering the home of another while armed with a dangerous weapon, and force or at the least the threat of force is used upon the occupants of the home. In Massachusetts, the crime of Home Invasion is punishable for 'not less than' 20 years and up to life in state prison.

In order to prove the crime of Home Invasion, the prosecutor must establish, by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  1. The defendant unlawfully entered the dwelling of another;

  2. He knew or had reason to know one or more persons were person within the dwelling;

  3. He was armed with a dangerous weapon at the time of entry; and

  4. He used force or threatened the imminent use of force on any person within the dwelling house; or alternatively, caused injury to any person within the dwelling.

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November 18, 2010

Massachusetts Supreme Court Throws Out Salem Murder Conviction

In an opinion released this morning, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today reversed the First Degree Murder conviction against Jerome McNulty, who in 2001, had been convicted of the murder of Linda Correia, 27, in her Salem bedroom.

In its decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that McNulty's right to be informed by the Salem Police Department of his criminal lawyer's attempt to provide advice to him had been violated. Consequently, it was error for the judge at his murder trial to admit into evidence McNulty's signed statement that he made to the Salem Police Department.

When an attorney representing a person held in custody makes it known to the police that he is seeking to reach his client to provide legal services, the police have an affirmative duty to inform the suspect immediately of the attorney's efforts. Even if the suspect had previously agreed to speak with the police, once the attorney makes that request, the suspect must be informed of his lawyer's efforts to reach him and the suspect's prior consent is invalid. Failure to do so results in a violation of a suspect's constitutional right to counsel.

No matter what the circumstances or the charges, no suspect or person in custody should agree to speak with the police unless they have first consulted with an attorney and have a lawyer present during any interviews.

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November 17, 2010

Witness in Boston Murder Trial Changes Testimony Again

The two men charged with First Degree Murder for the killing of 18-year old Cedirick Steele are once again on trial, for the third time. The first two trials against Antwon Carter and Daniel Pickney, Jr., resulted in mistrials: the first one resulted in a deadlocked jury; and the second was declared a mistrial largely in part because of the prosecutor's key witness, LaToya Thomas Dickson, recanted her testimony.

During the second trial of Carter and Pickney, LaToya Dickson testified that she was with the two defendants when they allegedly murdered Cedirick Steele, 18, from Roxbury, Massachusetts. During cross-examination later on in that trial, Dickson recanted that testimony and told those same jurors she wasn't with them.

According to the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Carter and Pickney allegedly drove to the Highland Street section of Roxbury with the purpose of retaliating a non-fatal shooting of an alleged gang member. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, however, maintains that Steele was simply an innocent bystander and not associated with any gangs.

In now the third murder trial and attempt to prosecute Antwon Carter and Daniel Pickney, Jr., Dickson took the witness stand today and testified that she was with the two defendants during the murder. According to Dickson, Pickney parked his car on Norfolk Street and Carter got out of the car. Soon after, gunshots were heard and Carter then returned to the car and tapped Dickson on the arm with a silver firearm, which she said was still hot. Pickney, who was dating Dickson at the time, asked her to take the gun allegedly used in the murder to her mother's house, but she said no.

Notably, after her recantation during the second murder trial, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office charged Dickson with Perjury. Earlier this month, Dickson pled Guilty to that Perjury charge and the case is now pending for sentencing.

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November 16, 2010

Boston Man Acquitted of Rape - Released After 18 Years in Prison

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis successfully represented a man falsely accused of raping of a woman dating back in 1988. The client had initially been indicted in 2003 with two counts of Aggravated Rape and Kidnapping. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office alleged that the defendant had raped a woman in 1988, but no one had been charged until the defendant's DNA was linked in 2003 to the complainant's physical evidence.

Prior to his trial in 2005, the Kidnapping charge was dismissed for being beyond the Statute of Limitations; and the client proceeded to trial on both counts of Aggravated Rape.

The complainant initially reported the alleged rape in 1988. She alleged that, while she was walking down the street, a car pulled up and a man jumped out and 'snatched' her into the car, blindfolding her and putting a gun to her head. He then allegedly drove her to an unknown location; got a motel room; allegedly raped her; and then drove her back to the area from where he allegedly kidnapped her.

Notably, the complainant admitted early on that, at the time, she was a 'drug addict' and 'ran the streets' as a "chef" (cooking and preparing pure cocaine into crack for distribution by drug dealers). She was a heavily drug dependent person and admittedly smoked at every opportunity.

She was called before the Grand Jury in 2003 and again gave sworn testimony at the trial in 2005. The details of her accounts, however, changed between her initial report in 1998 to when she testified before the Grand Jury, and then again in 2005. It appeared that she had conveniently forgotten some of the most horrific details that she had reported to the police. In 2003, she had no recollection of the person who 'snatched' her having a gun; as well as no recollection of ever being blindfolded. She further had no memory of these details when she testified at the first trial in 2005. Curiously, she had somehow forgotten the most traumatic details of the alleged crime...

At the client's first trial in 2005, a jury acquitted him of both counts of Aggravated Rape, but did convict him of one count of the lesser-included charge of Rape. Following his conviction on that lone Rape charge, he was sentenced to 10-12 years in state prison. He appealed...and his conviction was thrown out for critical errors that occurred during the 2005 trial. In 2010, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office then elected to re-try the client on the lone Rape charge.

In the meantime, however, the client had been convicted of other felony crimes, including Gun Crimes and other unrelated Sex Crimes. As such, he had been held in custody since 1992. If Attorney Travayiakis obtained an acquittal for his client, he would be released; otherwise, the client would likely spend at least another 6-8 years in prison.

The stakes were high for other reasons as well. Although the client had already been adjudicated and ordered to submit to Sex Offender Registration, another conviction for a Sex Crime would most certainly ensure civil commitment as a "sexually dangerous person" for life.

At the retrial, Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis focused his client's defense in challenging the credibility of the complainant. Did it make sense, he argued to the jury, that this woman, who admittedly worked for drug dealers and got high whenever she could, was really raped? Did it make sense that someone who was viciously raped would somehow remember intricate details such as the person having a wedding ring on and forget the most traumatic details, e.g., the person blindfolding her and putting a gun to her head?

The defense also called into the question the physical evidence from the 'Rape Kit' that was conducted at the time, i.e., the evidence did not support the complainant's allegation of a forcible rape. Under cross-examination, the prosecutor's own medical expert essentially conceded that there was no evidence of trauma or other evidence, i.e., bruising, lacerations, torn tissue, that would otherwise suggest a forced sexual assault.

Despite a very heated jury trial, which included Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis having to object an extreme amount of times for impermissible statements made during the prosecutor's closing argument, he successfully convinced a jury to acquit his client. The jury returned a unanimous verdict of NOT GUILTY as to Rape, and the client walked out of court a free man for the first time in almost 20 years.

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November 12, 2010

Two Everett Women Charged in Armed Robbery and Stabbing of Winthrop Woman

Sharnell Donahue, 31, and Diane Tuck, 51, both of Everett, Massachusetts, were each arraigned this morning in East Boston District Court for allegedly trying to rob a Winthrop woman of drugs.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Donahue, while wearing a ski mask, allegedly stabbed the 44 year old Winthrop woman in the chest after conspiring with Tuck and a teenage girl to steal her drugs.

Donahue and Tuck were both charged with Armed Assault with Intent to Rob, while Sharnell Donahue was also charged with Armed Assault to Murder and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. Following their arraignment, each were held on $50,000 cash bail.

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November 7, 2010

Teen Mother Indicted for Tossing Infant Out Window

Eva Flores, the teenage mom who allegedly threw her newborn out a 2nd floor window shortly after giving birth has been indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury.

The newborn was found on September 20, 2010, in an alleyway in East Boston when a neighbor heard the baby's cries and found him lying face down. As a result of the incident, the child suffered hypothermia, skull fractures, bleeding in the brain and seizures. The child has since been taken into custody by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

Flores is expected to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court tomorrow on charges including Assault & Battery on a Child causing Serious Bodily Injury and Reckless Endangerment of a Child.

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November 5, 2010

Marcos A. Colono Indicted on Cambridge Home Invasion

Marcos A. Colono was indicted yesterday by a Middlesex County Grand Jury 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 last month, he was ordered held on $1 million bail.

As previously reported in the Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog, 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.

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November 4, 2010

Boston Bank Robber Arrested

Christopher A. Higgins was arrested shortly after allegedly robbing Hyde Park Savings Bank in West Roxbury Wednesday morning with the 'getaway driver' being a friend who had no idea he had just robbed the bank.

The Boston Police Department reports that Higgins asked his friend to drive him to Hyde Park Saving Bank so he could cash a check. Once at the West Roxbury Branch on Centre Street, Higgins exited the bank in a rush and told the friend to quickly drive away because he had just been involved in a fight inside the bank.

Boston Police report that Higgins was driven to Shaw's in Dorchester, and after being dropped off, the unwitting friend was stopped by police. After being questioned by police, the friend provided a Dorchester address for Higgins.

A short time thereafter, Boston Police Officers saw a cab pull up to the Higgins' Dorchester home, and saw Higgins get out of the car holding a blue sweatshirt bank witnesses reported the suspect wearing in the robbery. As officers approached, Higgins attempted to run away but was soon apprehended.

Christopher Higgins will likely be charged with Unarmed Robbery, which is a crime punishable with life imprisonment in Massachusetts.

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