December 7, 2011

3 Boston Men Arrested for Armed Robbery in Newton

Newton Police have arrested three Boston men on Massachusetts Violent Crimes Charges in connection with the alleged robbery of a man and woman in Newton Centre last week.

Enemias Eliseo Ardon Valdez, 26, and Juan Francisco Rodenzo, 33, both of Allston, along with Marlon Rodenzo, 20, of Jamaica Plain, were all charged with Armed Robbery and Assault & Battery.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Newton Police officers were called to Cafe St. Petersburg in Newton Centre last Friday for a report that a man had been robbed at gunpoint. Newton Police allegedly located the three Boston men behind a liquor store on Beacon Street who allegedly matched the description.

All three men were arraigned in Newton District Court this week on Armed Robbery Charges, and were all held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing.

Armed Robbery in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for any term of years up to life. In order to be convicted of armed robbery, the Commonwealth is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person:

  1. Was armed with a dangerous weapon;

  2. Applied actual force and violence to the victim or otherwise put him in fear by threatening words or conduct; and

  3. Took money or other property with the intent to steal it.
Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in defending persons charged with Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Armed Robbery, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

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

December 6, 2011

Former Red Sox Manager Accused of Sexual Assault, Again

A former Boston Red Sox clubhouse manager, Donald Fitzpatrick, is again the subject of Massachusetts Sex Crimes allegations, this time involving two former Boston Red Sox clubhouse attendants, who claim they were sexually assaulted by him in the early 1990's.

One of the victims alleges he was sexually assaulted in 1991 in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse restroom; and the other victim alleges he was assaulted by Fitzpatrick when he was employed by the team as a clubhouse attendant.

Although Donald Fitzpatrick had passed away in 2005, the victims are still seeking compensation from the Boston Red Sox organization because he was employed by the team and the alleged assaults occurred on the team's property.

It has also been reported that 8 former clubhouse attendants had accused Fitzpatrick of sexual abuse. Notably, the Red Sox settled a lawsuit in 2003 with 7 other men who alleged that they were molested during spring training sessions in the 1970's. In that case, the Boston Red Sox settled for $3.15 million. Additionally, in 2002, Donald Fitzpatrick also reportedly pled guilty to Sex Crimes Charges.

Continue reading "Former Red Sox Manager Accused of Sexual Assault, Again" »

December 4, 2011

Boston Police Arrest Man Wanted for Nightclub Shooting

thumbnail.aspx.jpegThe Boston Police Department announced this weekend that they have arrested a man wanted on Massachusetts Violence Crimes Charges in connection with the shooting of 4 men outside a Boston nightclub on November 18, 2011.

Samuel Higginbottom, 23, fo Boston, was arrested this past Friday relative to this shooting, and is expected to be charged with 4 counts of Assault with Intent to Murder.

According to Boston Police, 4 men were shot outside the Venu club on Warrenton Street. All 4 men reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The Massachusetts crime of Assault with Intent to Murder is punishable by imprisonment to state prison for up to 10 years. Assault with Intent to Murder as an assault against another person with the specific or actual intent to cause the death of that person.

In many cases, prosecutors may actually avoid charging someone with this crime because it is not typically an 'easy' crime to prove. The crux of Assault with Intent to Murder is to prove a specific or actual intent to cause the death of another, and sometime the circumstances of a particular case do not necessarily reflect that intent.

In addition, an intent to even disable or ever scare off the person is not sufficient intent for the crime of Assault with Intent to Murder, not even an intent to inflict serious bodily harm.

In cases where prosecutors may be concerned about losing an Assault with Intent to Murder Charge, they might alternatively charge them with Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

Every person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and should Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer so his/her rights can be explained and properly preserved.

Continue reading "Boston Police Arrest Man Wanted for Nightclub Shooting" »

December 4, 2011

Occupy Boston Protester Arrested for Assault and Armed Robbery Charges

One of the Occupy Boston protesters was before a Boston Municipal Court Judge on Friday facing Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges.

Gary Williams, 24, of Quincy, was arrested on Thursday night when activists of Occupy Boston allegedly surrounded a Boston Police wagon and refused to let it move. The incident reportedly occurred when police officers confiscated a kitchen sink that protesters were trying to bring to the Dewey Square location where protesters have been camping out for months.

Williams was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on a Police Officer.

At his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court, Suffolk County prosecutors also revealed that Gary Williams also had a pending criminal case out of Framingham District Court that charges him with Armed Robbery.

In that Framingham case, Middlesex County prosecutors allege that Williams robbed a man of $250 when that man tried to meet a woman at a hotel for sex. Krystal Cannizaro, of Quincy and Howard A. John, of Somerville, were also arrested and charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes.

Continue reading "Occupy Boston Protester Arrested for Assault and Armed Robbery Charges" »

December 2, 2011

Boston 1st Grader Investigated for Sexual Assault???

thumbnail.aspx.jpegA Boston Public Schools spokesperson confirmed to reporters that a Boston elementary school 1st grader is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault, apparently because the boy punched another boy in the groin.

Really?'ve got to be kidding me!

According to the child's mother, the other boy allegedly choked her son, and her son then in self-defense, then punched the boy in the groin. The mother of the child is apparently very concerned over the 'investigation', and countered that if that is the case, then the other boy should then also be investigated for Attempted Murder for choking her son.

It seems unbelievable that Boston Public School officials and/or the police are actually serious about possibly disciplining the child for the incident. What would be even more unbelievable is if school officials even go one step further and consider charging the child with a sexual assault.

One may wonder, what type of sexual assault charges might they be considering levying against the child? Perhaps Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14, a crime which could carry potential Registration as a Sex Offender?

I think most people would agree that, sometimes, kids will be kids, and school officials should be more concerned with trying to teach them right from wrong, instead of being so quick with subjecting children so young to school disciplinary, let alone criminal, liability.

Continue reading "Boston 1st Grader Investigated for Sexual Assault???" »

December 1, 2011

Cambridge Woman Charged with Murdering Father

A 29 year old Cambridge woman was formally charged with Murder in connection with the death of her father, Guy Verna, 62, also of Cambridge.

Gylene Verna was initially charges with Assault & Battery with the November 20th incident that involved her father, Guy Verna, who was later pronounced dead at Cambridge City Hospital.

This past week, Gylene Verna was arraigned in Cambridge District Court, charged with First Degree Murder.

The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office alleges that Gylene Verna and her father had an argument that became physical when he struck her. Cambridge Police say that Gylene Verna then allegedly squeezed his neck.

The Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner's Officer reportedly determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation by manual strangulation.

If the evidence demonstrates that Gylene was first attacked, then she may very well have a Defense of Self-Defense.

Under Massachusetts law, a person may use reasonable force to defend himself from physical attack. At trial, once the defendant has raised the defense of self-defense, it is then the prosecution's burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant did not act in self-defense.

However, even where a person is entitled to use self-defense, the person may not use any more force than is reasonably necessary in all of the circumstances to defend himself. The question the jury will have to face in this case if self-defense is raise, is whether Gylene's actions in defending herself were reasonable.

Continue reading "Cambridge Woman Charged with Murdering Father" »

November 30, 2011

2 Massachusetts Men Arrested for Robbery for Purse Snatching

thumbnail.aspx.jpegTwo men, one from Boston and the other from Stoughton, were arrested this past Saturday on Massachusetts Theft Crimes and Violent Crimes Charges in an alleged purse snatching incident.

Nathaniel Webster, 32, of Boston, and Tameika Dunbar, 29, of Stoughton, were both charged with Unarmed Robbery, Resisting Arrest and Assault & Battery.

According to the Boston Police Department, Webster and Dunbar allegedly came behind two woman in Mattapan, hit them and stole one of their purses. The pair was reportedly arrested after their car was pulled over nearby by responding police officers.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Unarmed Robbery makes criminal the act of one, who is not armed with a dangerous weapon, by who by force or violence robs or steals the property or money of another person. The potential penalty for Unarmed Robbery in Massachusetts is imprisonment for any term of years up to life.

In my practice, allegations of Armed Robbery and Unarmed Robbery in circumstances involving purse snatching are more and more common. In the past, persons charged with these crimes often had their charges reduced to Larceny from the Person and the cases usually remained in the district courts.

In the past year or so, as purse snatching are more common and apparently increasing in violence, prosecutors are taking a closer look at these cases and appear to be indicting more of them to Superior Court, where the penalties are much stiffer.

Continue reading "2 Massachusetts Men Arrested for Robbery for Purse Snatching" »

November 29, 2011

3 Men Arrested in Boston Home Invasion in Dorchester

Boston Police responded to a reported Home Invasion / Armed Robbery this morning and arrested three men who allegedly tried to rob the home.

Adel Fonts of Attleboro, Robert Smith of Roslindale and Antonio Teixiera were all arrested and charged with Home Invasion; Armed Robbery; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

According to the Boston Police, officers responded to a call for a break-in at a home in Dorchester shortly after midnight. When they arrived, they allegedly observed Robert Smith jump from the second floor onto a neighboring porch. He allegedly tried to run away but was eventually arrested.

Meanwhile, Boston Police also reported locating Adel Fonts and Antonio Teixiera hiding in the home. Police also allegedly recovered 2 gun, zip ties, and cash.

Home Invasion in Massachusetts is defined as the entry into the home of another while armed and force is used against any person in the house. Home Invasion carries a very serious penalty of not less than 20 years and up to life in state prison.

Armed Robbery in Massachusetts, however, differs a bit from the crime of Home Invasion because the law does not require that the crime be committed in the house of another. Rather, an 'armed robbery' is committed when one, armed with a dangerous weapon, physically or otherwise threatens another person with the intent to steal his or her property. Armed Robbery also carries a potential sentence of up to life in state prison, but the law does not impose a minimum-mandatory sentence.

Continue reading "3 Men Arrested in Boston Home Invasion in Dorchester" »

November 28, 2011

Plane Lands in Boston, Professor Arrested for Child Pornography

A university professor was arrested this past weekend in Boston on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges after his flight landed at Logan Airport for allegedly possessing and viewing child pornography in flight.

Grant D. Smith, 47, a science professor at the University of Utah, was arraigned in East Boston District Court yesterday for Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Smith was allegedly viewing the child pornography from his first class seat while in flight. A passenger seated behind him allegedly observed the images Smith was looking at and e-mailed his son and asked him to contact police in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors further allege that the passenger then reported the incident to a flight attendant, who instructed Smith to shut off his computer. The flight attendant reported that Smith then allegedly tried to erase the images from his computer.

When the flight landed in Boston, Massachusetts State Police purportedly obtained consent from Smith to search his computer, and they allegedly recovered multiple child pornographic images of children between 5 and 14 years old.

Meanwhile, the University of Utah has placed Smith on administrative leave pending its own investigation.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography is a felony that carries up to 5 years in state prison for a first offense. Massachusetts law defines child pornography as any photograph or visual reproduction, or depiction by computer, any child whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18, and the child is engaged in some type of sexual or depicted in a lewd pose.

Additionally, a conviction of Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography may also subject the offender to Registration as a Sex Offender.

Continue reading "Plane Lands in Boston, Professor Arrested for Child Pornography" »

November 25, 2011

2 Teens Charged in Shooting of Woburn Police Officer

Two teenagers were charged on Wednesday in connection with the attempted jewelry store robbery that ended in the shooting of a Woburn Police Officers.

Allegra Martinez, 18, and Erianiss Murillo, 17, both from Dorchester, were arranged in Woburn District Court this week on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Armed Robbery While Masked; Gun Crimes Charges, and Assault with Intent to Murder.

According to Middlesex County prosecutors, Allegra Martinez, the daughter of a Boston Police Officer, and Erianiss Murillo, were involved in the attempted robbery of Musto Jewelers. Prosecutors allege that the store was cased a few days before the incident when two women came into the store and asked store employees how many people worked there. A few days later, on September 6, two women and two men returned to the store.

Prosecutors allege that Murillo rang the door bell, and when she was buzzed in, two men, Hector Baez Cruz, 21, and Antonios Matos, 25, went through and attempted to rob the store.

Woburn Police Officer Robert DeNapoli was one of the first police officers to respond to the scene. He was allegedly shot by Antonios Matos. DeNapoli survived the shooting, but reportedly lost his right index finger and was his left eye was injured.

Meanwhile, Antonios Matos was shot by other officers. He was arrested on scene that day.

Hector Baez Cruz, Allegra Martinez and Erianiss Murillo were reportedly able to get away, but Baez Cruz was arrested a few weeks later. Martinez and Murillo were allegedly linked to the robbery by cell phone records.

Continue reading "2 Teens Charged in Shooting of Woburn Police Officer" »

November 24, 2011

Drug Counselor Charged in Cambridge with Court Cost Scam

skinner.jpgA man who worked as a substance abuse counselor was charged in Cambridge District Court this past week on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly attempting to scam clients by promising a reduction in their criminal charges in exchange for a "court fee".

Greg Skinner was arraigned in Cambridge District Court this week on charges of Larceny Over $250 by False Pretenses.

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office alleges that Skinner, in his role as a drug counselor, tried to persuade client he was counseling to pay him a hefty "court fee", and that he, in exchange would arrange so that their criminal charges would be reduced. He would allegedly tell client that he had connections to the court's Probation Department and that the charges would be reduced for a fee of $2,750.

This month, prosecutors allege that he attempted to obtain this ridiculous 'court fee' from a current client. The client, however, along with his parents, reported him to the Massachusetts State Police, who then arranged a sting operation to confirm the allegations. Thereafter, an undercover state trooper, posing as the client's mother, allegedly met with Skinner and provided him with the requested $2,750. Once the money was exchanged, Skinner allegedly stated that he had already taken care of the charges.

In reality, the Probation Department really has no leverage, aside from making a strong recommendation, to have anyone's charges reduced or dismissed. Ultimately, any decision to reduce someone's charges must either come from the District Attorney's Office, or upon motion by the defendant directly to the Judge who will ultimately decide whether or not the charges should and/or can be reduced.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Larceny from the Person Over $250 is a felony which carries a potential penalty of up to 5 years in state prison.

Continue reading "Drug Counselor Charged in Cambridge with Court Cost Scam" »

November 18, 2011

Boston Man Charged with Sexual Assault on Woman in Cambridge Park

A Boston man was arrested by Cambridge Police earlier this week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges in connection with an alleged sexual assault on a woman near the Cambridgeside Galleria in Cambridge.

Cambridge Police have arrested Elisee Myrthil, 27, of Hyde Park, and have charged him with Assault with Intent to Rape.

According to police, Myrthil allegedly approached the woman from behind at Canal Park in Cambridge. It is alleged that he pushed her to the ground and attempted to sexually assault her. Myrthil was allegedly identified following review of surveillance video that purportedly captured the incident.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape is defined as an assault with the intent to then engage in sexual intercourse without the consent of the other person.

Assault to Rape is a felony in Massachusetts, which is punishable by commitment to state prison for any term of years, up to life imprisonment. Additionally, as with most Massachusetts Sex Crimes, a person convicted of this crime will likely also face other collateral consequences, including Sex Offender Registration; and could dal so be subject to Community Parole Supervision for life and/or may also be civilly committed as a "sexaully dangerous person."

Continue reading "Boston Man Charged with Sexual Assault on Woman in Cambridge Park" »

November 17, 2011

Boston Firefighter Charged with Violating Restraining Order Against Police Officer

A Boston firefighter was arraigned this week in West Roxbury District Court on charges of Violation of a Restraining Order, Threat to Kill, and Intimidation of a Witnesses.

It is alleged that a Michael Costello, of Hyde Park, had been the subject of a restraining order taken out against him by a Boston Police Officer. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Costello allegedly told another officer that he planned to kill the officer who had taken out the restraining order in Quincy District Court.

Following his arraignment, Michael Costello was held on $1,000 police, but was held without bail after his Quincy bail was revoked.

The Massachusetts Crime of Violation of a Restraining Order is a felony which is punishable by up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections. In order to be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  1. A court has issued an order prohibiting the defendant from abusing or contacting the person;

  2. The order was in effect on the date when the alleged violation occurred;

  3. The defendant had notice of the terms of the order then in effect; and

  4. That the defendant violated that order.
In cases such as these, where the alleged threat was communicated to a third party, the government will have the additional task of proving that the defendant intended the alleged threat to be communicated to the victim.

Continue reading "Boston Firefighter Charged with Violating Restraining Order Against Police Officer" »

November 14, 2011

Weymouth Teen Arraigned in Quincy for Triple Murder

donald rudolph.jpgDonald Rudolph, arrested on Massachusetts Murder Charges, was arraigned in Quincy District Court this morning for allegedly killing his mother, Paula Rudolph, her boyfriend, Frederick Medina; and his sister, Caylin Rudolph.

Rudolph was arraigned on 3 counts of 1st Degree Murder and 3 counts of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

According to the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, Donald Rudolph allegedly stabbed Frederick Medina to death, cut his throat and then stuffed a baby doll in his mouth. He also allegedly stabbed his sister, Caylin Rudolph, several times; and allegedly beat his mother to death.

Weymouth Police Officers were called to the family's home last Thursday night after neighbors called police. On arrival, police officers reportedly observed Donald Rudolph to be covered in blood and hiding in the basement. He also allegedly told police "I fucked will see when you go inside the house."

Following his arraignment in Quincy District Court on Murder Charges, Donald Rudolph was held without bail and sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental competency evaluation.

In Massachusetts, competency evaluations are conducted where there is a question of whether the defendant charged has the mental capacity to participate and assist his attorney in his legal proceedings. If, after evaluation, the court makes a determination that the defendant is not competent, i.e., unable to comprehend the legal proceedings against him and/or that he is unable to help in his defense, then he will be found incompetent.

Under Massachusetts case law, the standard is whether the defendant sufficiently "has the present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding - and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him".

Notably, there is a legal difference between a defend who is found incompetent to stand trial and one who asserts an Insanity Defense. Whereas competency is relative to the defendant's state of mind at trial or during the criminal proceedings; insanity refers to his state of mind at the time of the alleged crime.

Continue reading "Weymouth Teen Arraigned in Quincy for Triple Murder" »

November 13, 2011

2 Brothers Charged in Stoughton with Robbing 30 Dunkin' Donuts in Massachusetts

The Boston Globe reported that Canton Police arrested 2 brothers, one from Dorchester and the other from Quincy, with Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges in connection with the robberies of at least 30 Dunkin Donuts across Massachusetts.

Canton Police arrested Peter Wallace, of Dorchester, and Wayne Wallace, of Quincy, were arraigned in Stoughton District Court on theft charges including Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime to Commit a Felony; Malicious Destruction of Property and Unlawful Possession of Burglarious Tools.

According to the Canton Police Department, the two brothers were arrested in Canton after officers reportedly responded to an alarm at a Dunkin' Donuts in Canton. The police alleged that responded officers allegedly observed the two brothers taking off their masks and then allegedly attempted to run away.

After chasing them onto I-93 and pulling their car over, Canton Police allege that the two men had evidence in their car, including a crowbar, sledgehammer and screwdriver.

Authorities believe that the Wallace brothers are responsible for at least 30 Dunkin' Donuts robberies, including those in Boston, Wellesley, Quincy and Braintree.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime is a felony punishable by up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 20 years in state prison. In order to be convicted of Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime, the government has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  1. The defendant broke into a building;

  2. The defendant entered that building;

  3. With the intent to commit a felony; and

  4. Which took place in the nighttime.
Under Massachusetts law, a "breaking" is defined as any physical force, no matter how slight, to forcible remove an object in order to gain entry. Believe it or not, even opening an unlocked door or going through an open window is considered a "breaking".

Continue reading "2 Brothers Charged in Stoughton with Robbing 30 Dunkin' Donuts in Massachusetts" »