July 13, 2011

Boston Teenager Arrested for Rockland Murder in Armed Home Invasion


kavanaugh.jpgOrlando Harrington Kavanaugh, of Boston, was arraigned on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with an Armed Home Invasion in Rockland that resulted in the shooting death of Tina Gonsalves.

Kavanaugh was arraigned yesterday from his hospital bed on charges including First Degree Murder; Armed Home Invasion; Armed Assault with Intent to Murder; and Gun Crimes Charges including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Carrying a Loaded Firearm.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Kavanaugh, 28, allegedly broke into the Rockland apartment at 50 Concord Street at shortly after 7:30 a.m. by breaking the glass window in the door and reaching into to unlock it. Once inside, prosecutors allege that Kavanaugh pushed Tina Gonsalves into the back of the apartment.

During the struggle, Kavanaugh allegedly shot at Gonsalves' son, but missed; he also then allegedly shot Tina Gonsalves in the abdomen. Gonsalves' son, however, then shot Kavanaugh as he was leaving the apartment, striking him in the left shoulder. Kavanaugh reportedly got into a truck that was allegedly waiting for him outside.

According to the police, a witness who was outside the apartment was able to identity Kavanaugh as the person with the gun. Gonsalves' son, however, was unable to identity him, as Kavanaugh was allegedly wearing a hooded sweatshirt during the incident.

After Orlando Kavanaugh was dropped off at the emergency room at the hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound, police obtained the surveillance video of the hospital and were reportedly able to identify the truck. The truck was reportedly registered to Tyrell Nichols, whose phone records allegedly revealed evidence of a scheme to rob a house.

At this time, it is not known whether Tyrell Nichols will also be charged. Theoretically, the prosecutors could try charging him with First Degree Murder and Armed Home Invasion as well under the theory that he aided and abetted Kavanaugh. He could also be charged as an Accessory Before the Fact or Accessory After the Fact.

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July 8, 2011

Boston Feds Hand Down 26 Indictments for Alleged Chinatown Organized Crime


Boston Federal prosecutors have indicted 26 people in connection with an alleged organized crime group in Boston's Chinatown section, which charges them with Drug Crimes, Sex Crimes, such as prostitution, as well as money laundering, illegal gambling and Gun Crimes.

According to the Boston FBI office, the investigation into the alleged Chinatown crime group has netted the seizure of $340,000, tens of thousands of illegal pills, and several weapons.

Of the several men charged in the indictment, the few named are Minh Cam Luong, Songzeng Cao, Yao Cao, and Hin Pau, Yue Q. He, Wei Xing Chen, Xiaohong Xue, and Peter Melendez.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Major Felony Crimes.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

July 7, 2011

Five Men Indicted in Salem Superior Court for Murder of Lawrence Man


Five men were indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury in Salem Superior Court on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the shooting death of Roberto Gonzalez in 2009.

Francis Wyatt, 29, and Cauris Gonzalez, 22, were both arraigned in Salem Superior Court this week for First Degree Murder. Two other men, Yoshio Stackerman and Thomas Castro, are scheduled to be arraigned at a later date. A sixth man, Joel Javier, reportedly surrendered to police in Provincetown yesterday after he was named in the murder indictment.

Maribel Villafane, 25, was also arraigned in Salem Superior Court on the charge of Accessory After the Fact to Murder.

According to Lawrence and Massachusetts State Police, Robert Gonzalez was allegedly targeted as he sat in his minivan in Lawrence when he was approached by two gunmen who began to open fire. Gonzalez reportedly dove into the passenger's seat, but was reportedly hit by several bullets.

Shortly after the shooting, Robert Gonzalez' wife was interview, who stated she believed that Gonzalez was targeted in retaliation over an argument he had a few days before over some money he was owed.

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July 6, 2011

Cambridge Man Charged Rape at Boston's July 4th Celebration


Joseph Lee Brown, 22, of Cambridge, was arrested and charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes for allegedly raping sexually assaulting a 19 year old woman in Boston on July 4th. Brown was arraigned yesterday in Brighton District Court on the sex crime of Rape.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, the alleged sexual assault occurred shortly before 11:00 p.m. following Boston's fireworks display at the Esplanade. According to police, Joseph Lee Brown met the young woman in Harvard Square that evening, and the two walked along the Charles River to watch the fireworks.

In the area near the John W. Weeks Footbridge, Joseph Lee Brown allegedly pushed the woman to the ground and raped her. Immediately following the alleged sexual assault, the woman had a friend call 911 and then admitted herself into Cambridge Hospital to be treated for injuries and to have a rape examination done.

Joseph Lee Brown was reportedly arrested by Cambridge Police who then transferred him to the Massachusetts State Police barracks. It is unclear, however, how Brown came to be identified and arrested, e.g., whether the young woman was able to identify him by name or whether some sort of identification process was utilized by the police in order to identity him.

At Brown's arraignment on Rape Charges in Brighton yesterday, Brighton District Court presiding justice Judge Donnelly imposed a $50,000 bail on these charges, and also revoked his bail on a separate pending criminal matter which charges him with Larceny and Assault.

Continue reading "Cambridge Man Charged Rape at Boston's July 4th Celebration" »

July 5, 2011

18 Year Old Arrested and Charged with Murder of Wayland Teen Lauren Astley


fujita.jpgNathaniel Fujita was arrested and has been charged in connection with the Murder of Lauren Astley, the Wayland teenager whose body was found in a wooded marsh area along Route 27 near a Wayland beach.

Fujita was arraigned this morning in Framingham District Court on 1st Degree Murder Charges. Following his arraignment, he was held without bail.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Lauren Astley's car was found parked at the Wayland beach after she was reported missing late Sunday night. She was last seen leaving work at the Natick Collection at 6:30 that night. Yesterday morning, however, Lauren Astley's body was discovered by a man along Route 27, partially submerged in a marsh.

Police, in the meantime, had obtained a search warrant for the home of Nathaniel Fujita, in which they allegedly discovered "significant blood" and a bungee cord that police believe Fujita allegedly wrapped around her neck - which reportedly had a gaping and significant wound. Nathaniel Fujita had reportedly been involved in a 3 year relationship with Lauren Astley that recently ended.

At this time, it is unclear what led police to investigate Nathaniel Fujita, or how they otherwise were able to justify the probable cause needed for their obtaining a search warrant for his home.

The United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights presumes all persons are presumed innocent.

Continue reading "18 Year Old Arrested and Charged with Murder of Wayland Teen Lauren Astley" »

July 4, 2011

West Roxbury Man Arrested on Massachusetts Gun & Assault Charges


Robert M. MacCormack, 32, of West Roxbury, was arrested on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges this past weekend after he allegedly pulled out a gun on a food delivery driver. MacCormack was arrested on gun crimes including Assault With a Dangerous Weapon and Improper Storage of a Firearm.

According to the Boston Police Department, police officers were approached by a delivery driver who said Robert MacCormack allegedly pulled out a gun on him as he was driving down Pender Street in West Roxbury. According to the driver, MacCormack allegedly pulled up to him after his delivery and questioned why he was driving down the street in a reckless manner. The driver alleges that he was threatened at this point by MacCormack allegedly pointing a gun at him.

Boston Police Officers who responded to the incident reported that Robert MacCormack is licensed to carry a firearm and arrested him. A search of MacCormack's house also yielded in the seizure of three guns and several rounds of ammunition.

Of particular concern in this case is what justification the Boston Police used in entering the home of Robert M. MacCormack and searching for and seizing his other lawfully owned weapons, presumably without a search warrant.

The Massachusetts Gun Laws of Improper Storage of a Firearm makes it unlawful for any person, whether properly licensed or not, to store a firearm or ammunition in any place unless the weapon is secured in a lock container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other device so as to render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

A violation of Improper Storage of a Firearm in Massachusetts could result in imprisonment for up to 1 year; or for not less than 1 year and up to 10 years if the firearm is a "large capacity weapon or machine gun."

Under Massachusetts Gun Laws, a firearm is defined as "a pistol, revolver or other weapon...loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged..."

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July 3, 2011

Gloucester Man Charged with Manslaughter for Drug Overdose of Another


Jeremiah Sullivan, of Gloucester, has been indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the overdose of Michael Rogers. He has been indicted on the Murder Charge of Involuntary Manslaughter; Distribution of a Class A Substance, Heroin; Operating Under the Influence of Drugs; Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, Jeremiah Sullivan allegedly distributed heroin to Michael Rogers, who consumed the drugs which resulted in his death by overdose.

The Essex County District Attorney's Office is proceeding its prosecution against Jeremiah Sullivan under a theory that his providing drugs that resulted in a death by overdose is manslaughter.

In Massachusetts, Involuntary Manslaughter is the unintentionally killing of another caused by wanton or reckless conduct that creates a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm will result to another. In order to prove the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter, prosecutors would need to prove that:

  1. The defendant committed an unintentional killing, i.e., that the defendant intended the conduct that caused the death of another;

  2. That the killing was caused by wanton or reckless conduct; and

  3. The wanton or reckless conduct caused the death of that person.
The potential penalty that may be imposed upon a conviction for the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter is up to 20 years in state prison.

Continue reading "Gloucester Man Charged with Manslaughter for Drug Overdose of Another" »

July 2, 2011

Walpole Corrections Officer Arrested on Child Rape Charges


Matthew Pike, 39, a corrections officer at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole, was arrested this past week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges alleging that he repeatedly raped a child over a 5-6 year period.

Pike was arraigned on Friday in Wrentham District Court on various sex crimes charges including 10 counts of Rape of a Child, 2 counts of Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14; Assault & Battery; and Intimidation of a Witness.

According to the Walpole Police Department, the child at issue had recently told family members of the allegations, who in turn then reported the alleged incidents to the Walpole Police Department. No other details of the case, nor the relationship between the child and Matthew Pike, have been disclosed to date.

In an unrelated incident, Matthew Pike is also facing Assault Charges in connection with an incident last March at the Corrib Pub in West Roxbury, where Pike was allegedly involved in a bar brawl and had to be subdued by several Boston Police officers.

Continue reading "Walpole Corrections Officer Arrested on Child Rape Charges" »

July 1, 2011

Charlestown Man Indicted for Medford Murder


Gerald Sullivan, 37 of Charlestown, had Massachusetts Murder Charges returned against him by a Middlesex County Grand Jury yesterday in connection with the robbery of a Medford home that left one person dead and another seriously injures.

Sullivan was indicted on criminal charges including First Degree Murder, Home Invasion, Armed Assault to Murder, Armed Assault to Rob, Aggravated Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. Gerald Sullivan was also indicted as an Armed Career Criminal.

According to the Medford Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Gerald Sullivan and another person, both wearing masks, allegedly knocked on the door at a Jerome Street apartment in Medford. Once the occupant opened the door, Sullivan allegedly pushed his way in began robbing the occupant of his money and jewelry.

During the Home Invasion, Gerald Sullivan allegedly shot the occupants, Johnny Hatch, 37, and his father, John Viera. Another occupant of the apartment called 911. Johnny Hatch was pronounced dead at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Although John Viera survived the shot to his head, he was seriously injured and not all bullet fragments were able to be removed from his brain.

Johnny Hatch was a musician who had co-founded the group Mikst Nutz, a hip-hop group from Boston that was popular in the mid-1990's.

Gerald Sullivan was not immediately arrested following this incident. It has been reported that the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office was able to link him to this crime through CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) - essentially an FBI database that includes, among others, DNA samples from persons previously convicted of major felony crimes.

The United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights presumes that all persons charged with a crime, no matter how serious the allegations, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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June 30, 2011

Milford Teen Charged with Rape of Student at Nichols College


David Ceballos, 17, of Milford, was arraigned this week on several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault during a freshman orientation at Nichols College.

Ceballos was arraigned in Dudley District Court and charged with Rape and Indecent Assault & Battery on a Person Over 14.

According to prosecutors, the woman, also a freshman entering his first year at Nichols College, told police that David Ceballos allegedly forced her to have sex with him against her will. She also alleged that there were four witnesses to the sexual assault. Police reportedly spoke with those four witnesses, who according to investigators, gave a consistent account with the woman.

David Ceballos was arrested that same evening after sexual assault investigators interviewed the woman at the hospital. According to police, Ceballos initially denied having had sex with anyone that night; but later said that he had consensual sex which was witnesses by four others that were in the room.

For obvious reasons, the details of the witness accounts were not released by the police, but the question still remains: if there really was a sexual assault occurring, why didn't those other four people do anything to stop the alleged attack?

In Rape cases or in cases of alleged sexual assault, one of the most critical and telling pieces of evidence is the Sexual Assault Nurse's Examination that is conducted. In some cases, the physical examination may not be consistent with the allegation of a forced sexual assault, e.g., lack of any signs of trauma, tearing, lacerations, or other inconsistencies with the allegations.

The Sex Crime of Rape in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in successfully defending Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Rape and Indecent Assault & Battery, and is available 24/7 for consultation. See Case Results.

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June 29, 2011

Man Charged with 23 Year Old Murder of West Roxbury Woman


Michael Coker, 48, was arraigned this afternoon on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the death of Janet A. Phinney, whose body was found in a wooded section of West Roxbury 23 years ago.

Coker was indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury and brought before the Suffolk Superior Court this afternoon for his arraignment on the charge of First Degree Murder.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and Boston Police Department, Janet A. Phinney was reported missing on March 18, 1988, after last being seen by her sister in her family's West Roxbury home. Her body was discovered three days later, partially clothed, by a neighbor.

At the time, the Massachusetts Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Phinney had been strangled to death, but Boston Police did not have enough evidence to charge anyone.

The Boston Police Department reviewing the case used advances in DNA technology to allegedly link biological evidence to Michael Coker. Coker was reportedly Phinney's ex-boyfriend.

It's unclear, however, what 'biological evidence' was relied upon to believe that Michael Coker was responsible for this murder. Even if such biological evidence was found on Phinney's body linking her to Coker, that still does not necessarily demonstrate that he was responsible for her death. It could very well be that she may have had contact with him a short time prior to her disappearance, as some members of her family also did.

Consequently, the DNA link to Coker may be nothing more than circumstance, falling well short of the 'proof beyond a reasonable doubt' for a conviction of First Degree Murder.

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June 28, 2011

Weymouth Man Charged with Stealing Church Donations


Wilbert Nickerson, 76, of Weymouth, was arrested this past Sunday on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly stealing several hundred dollars in church donations from the St. Jerome Parish in Weymouth.

Nickerson was arraigned Monday morning in Quincy District Court on three counts of Larceny Over $250, a felony.

According to the Weymouth Police Department and the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, Wilbert Nickerson was one of a handful of volunteers who was responsible for counting donations from the collections after church services. Church officials had reportedly suspected Nickerson of stealing from the collections, and this past Sunday, along with the Weymouth Police Department, allegedly used hidden cameras for surveillance while he counted the money.

The Weymouth Police Department had also reportedly included in the donations some money that were previous-recorded, and the hidden cameras allegedly captured Wilbert Nickerson pocketing money into his pocket six times.

According to Weymouth Police, Nickerson is suspected of pocketing church donations on at least 2 prior occasions.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Larceny Over $250 is a felony, which is punishable by incarceration to the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years, or up to 5 years in state prison. In order to prove someone guilty of the crime of Larceny, the prosecutor would have to prove:

  1. That the person took and carried away property;

  2. That property was owned by someone other than the defendant;

  3. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.
Following his arraignment in Quincy District Court, Wilbert Nickerson was released on his own personal recognizance.

Continue reading "Weymouth Man Charged with Stealing Church Donations" »

June 25, 2011

James "Whitey" Bulger Back in Boston


whitey.jpgAfter 16 years of 'pursuit' and listed as one of America's Most Wanted, James "Whitey" Bulger was back in Boston Federal Court in South Boston yesterday to answer to the several indictments which charge him with Racketeering, Extortion, Money Laundering, Loan Sharking, Witness Tampering, Gun Crimes Charges and Murder.

In the courtroom, along with members of his alleged victims' families, and members of his own family, including former Massachusetts Senate President William M. Bulger, the 81 year old James Bulger reportedly sat calmly and collected throughout the initial proceedings.

To the surprise of many, James Bulger asked to be given a court-appointed lawyer despite the government having seized approximately $800,000 in cash from his apartment at the time of his arrest. In the alternative, he asked the Judge Magistrate to return that money so he could hire his own attorney.

Although this may have frustrated many, the reality is that, in order for the government to seize those funds, they would have to show that those monies were derived from his dealings of a criminal enterprise. This is the government's burder - and not Mr. Bulger's to demonstrate that those funds were obtained lawfully. This issue, of course, will be the subject of future court proceedings...

So how did the FBI get James "Whitey" Bulger back in custody? ...it seems there is more to this story than the FBI is reporting.

According to the FBI in Boston, they received a tip from a woman in Iceland who had reportedly crossed paths with both Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig in Santa Monica. The woman reportedly saw a CNN report that reported a story about the FBI's television ad about Catherine Greig.

I'm not so sure I really believe that James Bulger and Catherine Greig were apprehended after 16 years; after being on America's Most Wanted List for so long, and after a tip following a CNN special from a woman from Iceland of all places.

Additionally, several questions still remain: if Bulger and Greig were in fact living in that same apartment complex in Santa Monica for the last 16 years, how were they able to leave and re-enter the country during that time, especially after 9/11? With the technology available to the government today and will the thousands of tips, how were they able to live in a large city undetected for so long?

Many critics still question whether the FBI actually knew of their whereabouts and simply did nothing because, perhaps, they did not want him found. After all, imagine how many more people James Bulger can bring down and how much more damage he can do to the already tarnished reputation of the FBI if he begins talking...

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June 24, 2011

Lowell Police Officer Indicted for Rape of Two Prostitutes


s-PROSTITUTION-large.jpgLowell Police Officer Aravanh Lakmany was indicted this past week by the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office for Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges alleging he raped two prostitutes while on duty.

Aravanh Lakmany was indicted on sex crimes charges of Rape and Soliciting Prostitution.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Aravanh Lakmany allegedly solicited several prostitutes from 2009 going forward while he was working the overnight shift for the Lowell Police Department. He is alleged to have asked the purported prostitutes to get into the back seat of his police cruiser, driven them to a remote area, and then alleged rape them or engage in other sexual acts with them.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Rape involves the sexual intercourse with another person by force and against that person's will; or by conduct that compels that person to submit to sexual acts by the threat of bodily force or violence.

The Crime of Rape in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years for a first-time offender, and up to life for a subsequent offense.

In addition to the charges against the police officer, the City of Lowell may also be facing a potential Civil Rights Violations lawsuit by the purported victims against the city. If the allegations prove true, that these women were raped by a Lowell Police Officer while on duty and in his capacity as a police officer, the women may very likely seek monetary damages from the city.

Continue reading "Lowell Police Officer Indicted for Rape of Two Prostitutes" »

June 23, 2011

James "Whitey" Bulger Arrested, Agrees to Return to Boston


whitey new.jpgJames "Whitey" Bulger, the purported Boston mobster who has been on the run for 16 years, was arrested last night in Santa Monica, CA, where he had reportedly been living in a rent-controlled apartment complex with his long-time girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60.

Whitey Bulger, now 81, wanted for 19 murders and who had been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, was brought into Federal court this afternoon where he executed the paperwork waiving any contest to extradition and agreed to return to Massachusetts. When asked, Bulger admitted his true name was James J. Bulger; and also stated that he was pretty familiar with the charges against him.

Catherine Greig also agreed to return to Massachusetts without contest to face her own criminal charges.

Most people who know the name Whitey Bulger know the story. Bulger had been working as a confidential informant for former FBI agent John Connolly. Over the course of their relationship, many believe that Bulger was able to influence Connolly, who eventually became so loyal and fascinated with the underworld lifestyle of Whitey Bulger, that it was Connolly who was really working for Bulger - accepting bribes and tipping off Bulger from criminal investigations against him and his other associates.

...notably, John Connolly wasn't the only one who was complicit in providing Bulger information.

Former FBI Agent John Connolly proved his worth to Bulger 16 years ago when he provided him his biggest tip - the 19 count federal indictment charging him with Murder, racketeering and other criminal charges.

whitey old.jpgSince Whitey Bulger had been on the run, the corruption involving former agent John Connolly and the Boston FBI office was uncovered. Connolly was ultimately criminally charged and convicted of racketeering in Boston federal court. Following the completion of his 10 year sentence on that charge, he will then begin serving a 40 year sentence after having been convicted of 2nd Degree Murder in Florida. He was convicted on those murder charges after he leaked information about a potential witness to Bulger, who then arranged for someone to kill him.

The irony in all of this is that, almost immediately upon Whitey Bulger's arrest, the FBI issued a statement praising their diligence and resolve, but also extending their sympathy to all the children and other family members of the 19+ murder victims who suffered their fate at the hands and will of Bulger. ...but who is the bigger monster in this story: Whitey Bulger or the FBI who gave him the license, essentially sanctioned him, to commit these and other heinous crimes?

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for a Free Consultation on all Massachusetts Criminal Charges.