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.

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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".

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November 10, 2011

Massachusetts Man Charged with Rape and Attempted Murder

A Massachusetts man was in court in Bourne this past week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, answering to allegations that he raped and attempted to murder a woman on Cape Cod.

James Pearson, 42, was arrested and charged with Rape and Attempted Murder.

According to the Bourne Police Department, Pearson and the unidentified woman were in an apartment and a neighbor reportedly heard an assault. The woman then reportedly ran to the neighbors apartment door and stated she had been thrown down and kicked in the head several times.

Bourne Police officers allege that James Pearson ran away and initiated a chase through the woods and along the Cape Cod Canal. At his arraignment on these charges, Pearson denied that he ever raped, let alone assaulted, the woman and that it was only an argument.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Rape is punishable in state prison for a term of up 20 years. A conviction for rape, however, also subjects the offender to Sex Offender Registration and possibly civil commitment as a 'sexually dangerous person'.

Following his arraignment in Bourne District Court on these sex crimes charges, Pearson was held without bail.

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November 9, 2011

Protester at Occupy Boston Arrested on Drug Charges

Adam Brisbois, 28, of Boston, was arrested at the South Station on Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges yesterday after allegedly selling pills to undercover Boston Police officers.

Brisbois, who was reportedly living at the Occupy Boston camp in Dewey Square, allegedly sold clonodine pills to undercover Boston officers in a bathroom at the South Station bus terminal.

He was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs and is scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court this morning.

According to the Boston Police Department, there has been an increase in "drug activity" near the Occupy Boston / South Station area.

The Massachusetts Drug Crime of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance criminalizes the distribution and/or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 10 years in state prison.

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November 8, 2011

Boston Man Arrested on Weak Gun Charges

A 26 year old Boston man was arrested this past weekend in Dorchester on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges for allegedly carrying a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and allegedly firing a shot into the ground.

Mohamed Ali Bile, of Dorchester, was arrested by Boston Police officers and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; Unlawful Possession of Ammunition; Carrying a Loaded Firearm; and Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Boston Police Officers responded to an area in Dorchester for a report of "a black man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt" who had allegedly fired a shot into the ground. Police officers who responded allegedly encountered Bile, who allegedly ran away from the police and jumped fences through several backyards.

Upon his arrest, Mohamed Ali Bile denied that he ever possessed any firearms and allegedly stated that he was running because he thought that someone was trying to shoot at him.

Despite what may appear, according to reports, to be an open and shut case for the government, the reality is that prosecutors will have an uphill proving to a jury that it was Bile who actually possessed weapon and it was he who actually fired the weapon. After all, it does not appear that any witness would be able to identity Bile as the person who possessed the gun; and the police officers never saw him possess/fire the weapon. If the only evidence of 'consciousness of guilt' is that he allegedly 'fled', then any valid reason presented to a jury might arguably persuade them that there is, in fact, reasonable doubt...

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October 28, 2011

Two Boston Men Face Murder Charges in Hyde Park Double Murder

Two men have been charged in connection with the Boston Murders of Billie Kee and her boyfriend, Kevin Thomas, that occurred in Hyde Park in July.

Michael T. Corbin and Earl Fulgiam, are both expected to be arraigned on two First Degree Murder Charges as soon as today in the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court.

According to the Boston Police Department, Billie Kee and Kevin Thomas were murdered inside their Hyde Park apartment this past July. Police had initially represented that witnesses had seen 4 people leave the apartment and that they had dropped guns as they ran away. They also additionally first said that they believed the murders were "drug involved", yet did not offer any specific details as to any potential motive.

At this time, it's unclear what exactly led police to focus their investigation on Michael T. Corbin and Earl Fulgiam. One might assume that fingerprints were recovered on the guns found at the scene, though it is actually very difficult to recover fingerprints off of firearms. In fact, in the majority of cases, the Boston Police Crime Lab Unit is unable to recover sufficient ridge detail so as to link any potential fingerprints to any one person.

Without identifiable fingerprints on the alleged murder weapon, then, it would arguably be difficult to establish the either one of these two men pulled the trigger, even if the government can establish that they were present in the apartment...particularly if witnesses reported seeing 4 men leaving...

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October 25, 2011

Boston High School Student Arrested for Gun at School

A 14 year old Boston high school student was arrested this morning on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges after he allegedly brought a loaded handgun to West Roxbury High School.

The 9th grade student was charged in West Roxbury Juvenile Court this morning on charges including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm.

The Boston high school student was arrested at the West Roxbury Education Complex this morning by Boston School Police when he allegedly tried to avoid the metal detector when entering the school.

Following his arraignment on gun charges, the student was held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing.

The Massachusetts Gun Crime of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is punishable with imprisonment for a minimum-mandatory sentence of not less than 18 months in the House of Corrections and up to 5 years in state prison.

In order to prove unlawful possession of a gun, the prosecutor would have to prove that the defendant possessed or had under his control a firearm. A "firearm" is defined in Massachusetts is a pistol or revolver, loaded or unloaded, from which a bullet can be discharged and which has a barrel length of less than 16 inches."

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October 24, 2011

Stoughton Woman Charged with Allegedly Running Prostitution Ring

A 45 year old Stoughton woman was arraigned this morning in Brockton District Court on various Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly running prostitution services in Brockton, Norwood and Canton.

The woman was arraigned on the sex crime charge of Deriving Support from Prostitution.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, the woman allegedly used three locations, Aria Day Spa in Brockton, Sparkle Day Spa in Canton and Spa Bellissimo in Norwood, as centers for conducting the purported sex crimes. It it alleged that the masseuses at these various locations were offering sex as part of the service.

The investigation was reportedly completed when an undercover Massachusetts State Trooper negotiated with the woman to have 12 women perform sex acts at a party. Prosecutors reported that the trooper provided the woman a cash down payment over the weekend.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Deriving Support from Prostitution is punishable by a minimum-mandatory jail sentence of not less than 2 years and up to 5 years in state prison.

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October 21, 2011

Massachusetts Man Indicted on Child Rape Charges Following Internet Meeting

A 19 year old Tewksbury man has been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges after allegedly trying to blackmail the purported 15 year old victim with photographs he had taken.

Thomas Hutchinson has been indicted on Rape of a Child by Force; Assault with Intent to Rape; Attempted Extortion; Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Over 14; and Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Hutchinson allegedly met the 15 year old girl after an online encounter. Prior to meeting, the girl reportedly sent him photos of her in her bathing suit and eventually nude photographs.

According to police, Hutchinson then allegedly threatened to post the photos online if the girl didn't have sex with him and his friend; and also allegedly threatened to rape her if she refused to meet him or even called the police to report the incident.

Eventually, the indictment alleges that Hutchinson met the girl, got her into his car and allegedly forced her to perform sexual acts.

Despite the allegations, the substance of the charges against this man are that he raped a young girl. In assessing the strength and weaknesses of the prosecutions case, the defendant will most certainly need to examine any forensic evidence agains him, particularly whether a rape exam was conducted - which could tend to disprove whether there was any evidence of a forced sexual act.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Rape of a Child by Force is punishable in state prison for any term of years up to life. By definition, Rape of a Child by Force involves compelling a a child under 16 to perform a sexual act against her will.

As with most Massachusetts Sex Crimes, a conviction for this offense carries several collateral consequences aside from potential imprisonment, including Sex Offender Registration.

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October 20, 2011

Massachusetts Teen Arrested for Wielding BB Gun in High School

westford.jpgA Westford High School student was arrested by Westford Police after he allegedly brought a large pellet gun that resembled an assault rifle into school. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Lowell Juvenile Court on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon on School Property; and Unlawful Possession of a BB Gun.

According to police, the teenager, a 16 year old sophomore student at Westford High School, walked into the high school and allegedly began pointing the weapon in the direction of students. He eventually made his way into the school cafeteria, that was filled at the time with about 150 high school students.

The incident involving the student, who was reportedly under suspension at the time, caused school officials to put the school in lockdown.

After entering the cafeteria, he was reportedly tacked by Matthew Richard, the assistant principal, and held by other faculty members until police arrived.

In Massachusetts, the crime of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is punishable by imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years, or to state prison for up to 10 years.

In order to be convicted of the crime of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, the prosecutor would have to prove that the defendant intentionally touched the person of another without any right or excuse and that it was done with a dangerous weapon.

As of this time, all reports seem to suggest that the student did nothing more than enter the school and allegedly point the BB gun at other students. In other words, it's unclear whether he actually struck or hit anyone else with the gun. If so, it appears more of circumstances involved Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, that involves conduct where no actually touching was committed.

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October 18, 2011

3 Men Charged in Massachusetts with Murder of Quincy Restauranteur

Two men from Massachusetts, Jun Di Lin of Malden, and Sifa Lee, of Quincy, along with Cheng Sun, were arrested on Murder Charges in connection with the death of Tony Woo, of Quincy, found dead inside his Ipswich restaurant.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, the three men allegedly broke into Woo's Ipswich restaurant in what is believed to be a robbery. Woo reportedly died from blunt force trauma according to a preliminary autopsy report.

Jun Di Lin was reportedly arrested trying to cross into Canada; while Sifa Lee was arrested in New Jersey; and Cheng Sun was arrested in New York.

It's unclear at this time how, exactly, police linked the three men to the murder of Woo.

At this time, all three men are expected to be brought back into Massachusetts within the next and arraigned in Salem on 1st Degree Murder Charges.

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October 17, 2011

Boston Fire in Roxbury Was Set by Medford Man

Boghosian_Rox Fire2_MET.jpgMohamed Abdul Jabar, 28, of Medford, was arrested this morning for allegedly setting fire to a Boston apartment building this morning that reportedly injured 13 and left dozens homeless. He faces charges including Attempted Murder and Arson.

According to the Boston Police Department, Jabar allegedly tried to commit suicide by turning on the gas from a stove from within one of the apartments and then lighting a match. Jabar also reportedly suffered injuries as a result of the fire and was taken to Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital to be treated.

According to Boston Police, Jabar allegedly told medical responders that he "blew up his house."

Due to the quickly moving blaze, many of the residents within the apartment complex had to be rescued by Boston Firefighters through windows. In one instance, a six year old child had to be dropped into the open arms of a firefighter 3 stories below to avoid the heavy smoke.

The crime of Arson in Massachusetts is defined as the willful and malicious setting of a fire and causing to burn the dwelling of another, and is punishable by commitment to state prison for up to 20 years.

By statute, in order to be convicted of the crime of Arson, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant acted willfully and maliciously. "Willfully" means that the person acted intentionally and by design, and not by just mere thoughtless or accident. In other person, the person intended both the conduct and the resulting harm from his actions.

"Malice" means that the act was done with an evil disposition, or with a wrong or unlawful motive.

In this case, however, and even with evidence of Arson, prosecutors will have a more difficult time in proving the crime of Attempted Murder against Jabar.

In order to be convicted of Attempted Murder in Massachusetts, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant had a "specific intent to commit the crime of Murder". In other words, they must prove that it was Jabar's intent to commit the murder, or unlawful killing of another, when he allegedly set the fire. This requires that the government prove the mental state of the defendant at the time when the alleged criminal act was committed - which is not as simple as it may sound.

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October 15, 2011

Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules on Admission of 911 Call Where Caller Doesn't Testify at Trial

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently considered whether the admission of a 911 call at trial was proper where the caller did not testify at trial, and whether admitting the call violated that defendant's constitution right of confrontation.

In this case, the defendant was charged with two counts of Assault & Battery, and prior to trial, moved to preclude the prosecutor from admitting the 911 call, in which the caller identified his as the perpetrator, and alleging that he had just beaten her.

By way of background, in the case of Crawford v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment barred the admission of statements of witness who did not appear at trial [unless they were unavailable to testify and where the defendant had had a previous opportunity to cross-examine them].

However, in Davis v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court, defining what constitutes a 'testimonial statement', ruled that statements are not testimonial if they were made under circumstances to enable police assistance to an ongoing emergency. In contrast, statements are testimonial when their primary purpose is to establish or prove events relevant to a criminal prosecution.

In this case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the 911 caller's statements were made in the course of an 'ongoing emergency', and that therefore her statements was non-testimonial in nature; and not, in other words, under circumstances to prove the facts for a criminal prosecution.

The prosecutor, therefore, was permitted to introduce the 911 call, even though the caller did not testify at trial, and according to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, this did not violate the defendant's constitutional Right of Confrontation under the Sixth Amendment.

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October 11, 2011

Boston Police Target Convenience Store Owner for Selling 'Drug Paraphernalia'

The Boston Police Department and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino recently announced that they are targeting convenience store owners, primarily in Roxbury, who allegedly sell drug paraphernalia, such as "crack pipe kits", and charging them with violating the Massachusetts Drug Crimes Laws.

The investigation was reportedly initiated after complaints from the neighborhood that the stores selling these items would attract too many drug users and addicts.

In all, the Boston Police Department reportedly focused their attention on 14 locations and seized various items the store owners were selling to customers, including 'crack kits', illegal poker machines, Viagra pills, glass smoking pipes, and other items that drug users can allegedly use to support their habit.

14 store owner will reportedly be summonsed and charged with violating the Massachusetts Drugs Laws.

What is interesting about this case is that it appears many of the items that were reportedly being sold are not, in and of themselves, illegal. An item, for example, that could be used for legal purposes and sold lawfully, is now considered to be 'drug paraphernalia' by the Boston Police, subjecting these store owners to arrest and prosecution.

But the question that will inevitably be posed in most, if not all, of these cases, if it's legal to sell the item, then how can the proprietor be prosecuted criminally where it's the buyer who then elects to use the item for unlawful purposes?

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October 3, 2011

Boston Man Indicted on Sex Crimes Charges

Norman Barnes, 28, was indicted by a special grand jury on violation of Massachusetts Sex Crimes for his alleged involvement in forcing underage women into prostitution.

Barnes is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Boston's Suffolk Superior Court on various sex crimes charges, including 10 indictments charging Deriving Support from Prostitution; Statutory Rape; and Dissemination of Obscene Material.

Norman Barnes was arrested on May 19 when one of the young ladies was located by her family at a motel. Massachusetts State Police arrested Barnes that evening at the motel, also seizing almost $20,000 in cash along with a key to the room where he was allegedly staying with a 15 year old girl.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, the charges against Norman Barnes allege that he forced two underage women, ages 15 and 16, to engage in prostitution and then collected the profits. It is also alleged that he took photos of the two girl to post on the internet, offering their services for a fee.

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