Recently in Manslaughter Category

January 9, 2011

Wareham Man To Be Arraigned on Manslaughter Charges for Killing Two Others at Wareham Motel

Richard Walling, 20, of Wareham, Massachusetts, was arrested on Murder Charges in connection with the stabbing deaths of Leonard Bollla, 35, adn Ryan Aponte, 24, both of Wareham, which occurred at a Wareham motel.

Walling is expected to be arraigned tomorrow morning on two counts of Manslaughter.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, Bolla and Aponte were both stabbed at a Wareham motel Friday evening. Although few details have been released to date, it has been reported that the murders resulted from a botched robbery attempt, wherein two masked men broke into the front door of the motel and tried the motel owner's daughter and boyfriend, who is Richard Walling. Apparently Walling tried to fight off the two men, Bolla and Aponte, after a scuffle, ended up stabbing both of them.

The Plymouth Police Department reported that, when officers arrived on scene, Bolla was found in the parking lot with multiple stab wounds to the chest; and Aponte was found in a wooded area behind the motel.

Notwithstanding being charged with Manslaughter, it readily appears that Walling will have a potential Defense of Self-Defense available to him, especially if it is established that Bolla and Aponte, in fact, attempted to rob the motel.

In general, a person may use reasonable force to defend himself from physical attack. However, in order to 'legally' assert the Defense of Self-Defense, a person may use no more force than is necessary in all of the circumstances to defend himself. Unreasonable or excessive force, for example, could turn someone who was defending himself into the aggressor.

One of the key issues, therefore, in the Manslaughter case against Walling by the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office is the number of stab wounds inflicted to the deceased. The prosecutor might argue, for example, that evidence of multiple stab wounds is indicative of Walling being the aggressor, and not acting in self-defense.

Either way, it will be interesting once more details are released and how this case unfolds...

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December 23, 2010

Chelsea Man Held Without Bail in Peabody Murder

Fernando Aristy, 24, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, continues to be held without bail in connection with the Murder of Chad McDonald, Sr., which allegedly resulted from a confrontation between the two at a Lynn warehouse.

Aristy is charged with First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon and Aggravated Assault & Battery (both counts being 'aggravated' as a result of serious bodily injuries).

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, Aristy hit McDonald in the face and head with his fists as well as with a 2x4 piece of wood. McDonald was initially hospitalized for eleven days, but later succumbed to his injuries.

The altercation allegedly resulted from Aristy blocking McDonald's car with his, which then led to McDonald grabbing a screwdriver. The two men eventually scuffled on the ground, but nearby witnesses had to pull Aristy off of McDonald, who had gotten the 'upper hand' in the fight.

After the two men were separated, Aristy left the area, but then convinced his friend, who was driving him home, to return him to see McDonald so he could "keep fighting". McDonald's body was then discovered the following morning when he did not show up for a meeting with another person. Fellow co-workers found McDonald's body lying on an air mattress, severely beaten and bruised. He was eventually taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he did on October 20.

According to the Massachusetts Medical Examiner's Office, McDonald died from "blunt force trauma to the head with injuries to the skull and brain."

By all accounts, however, it readily appears that Aristy will assert a Defense of Self-Defense if this case goes to trial, and try to pin McDonald as the initial aggressor and at least argue that the death was Manslaughter, rather than premeditated Murder.

At this time, Aristy remains held without bail pending trial on this case.

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December 9, 2010

Third Boston Man Arrested in Mattapan Quadruple Murder

Edward Washington, 31, of Boston, Massachusetts, was arrested and is to be charged in connection to the Mattapan murders that claimed the lives of four people during the September drug robbery in Mattapan.

Boston Police reported that Washington is to be charged with four counts of Murder, as well as Armed Assault with Intent to Murder, Home Invasion, Armed Robbery, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. He is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court.

As previously reported in the Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog, the Boston Police and Suffolk County prosecutors allege that Edward Washington, Dwayne Moore and Kimani Washington conspired to rob Simba Martin, who was known to them as dealing drugs from his Mattapan home on Sutton Avenue. The men, according to the Boston Police and prosecutors, knew that Martin ran a drug business from his home and knew of his stash of drugs and money.

On September 28, 2010, the men 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, the men forced both Martin and Hurd inside the home at gunpoint and began robbing the home.

After cash, drugs and other items were taken, Martin and Hurd, along with Levaughn Washum-Garrison, Eyanna Flonory and her 2 year old child, Amani Smith, were forcefully taken from the home and directed to nearby Woolson Street where they were shot, execution style, multiple times. Their bodies were found, naked, the next morning by a passer-by. Only Marcus Hurd survived the gunshot wounds, but he remains in critical condition at a Boston Hospital.

The day after the murders, Kimani Washington was stopped by Boston Police Officers driving the car they believe was linked to Marcus Hurd. Washington was arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. Suffolk County prosecutor have revealed that one of the guns allegedly used in the Mattapan murders was seized during a search of Washington's mother-in-law's apartment. He has not, as of this date, been charged with Murder.

Dwayne Moore was also previously arrested and has already been arraigned in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court. He has been charged with four counts of First Degree Murder.

At Moore's arraignment, Suffolk County prosecutors revealed that Moore knew of Martin's illegal drug business, including the stash of drugs and money at his home, because he had lived with Martin for a short time after being released from state prison in 2010 after serving time for a Manslaughter conviction.

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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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September 9, 2010

Boston Man Gets 10 Years on Plea Deal for 2006 Cambridge Murder

Sherrod Bright.jpgSherrod Bright, 26, was sentenced to 10 years in connection to the 2006 Murder of Corey Davis of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In a plea deal, Bright pled Guilty to Manslaughter, being sentenced to 10 years in state prison, followed by 10 years probation upon his release.

According to the Cambridge Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, on March 19, 2006, Cambridge Police were called to investigate a shooting on Hamilton Street in Cambridge. Once on scene, officers found Davis lying on the sidewalk suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

In addition to Sherrod Bright, his brother, Ahmad Bright, 17 of Dorchester, was indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on Second Degree Murder Charges and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; and Remel Ahart, 21 of Cambridge, was also charged with First Degree Murder, Armed Assault to Murder, and two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Cambridge Police allege that Ahart shot Davis from the backseat of a car near where his body was found, and that Bright participated in the shooting as a Joint Venturer. Both Ahmad Bright and Remel Ahart have been previously found guilty of these charges.

Sherrod Bright was not initially arrested, but later turned himself in to answer on the charges. He was initially indicted for First Degree Murder, Accessory Before the Fact of Murder, and Conspiracy to Commit Murder. According to the Cambridge Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Sherrod Bright allegedly ordered Davis to be murdered, and Ahmad Bright and Remel Ahart carried out his orders.

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August 16, 2010

Boston Pub Brawl Leads to Manslaughter Charge for South Boston Man

Hector Guardiola, 25, of South Boston, Massachusetts, was arraigned today in Roxbury District Court on charges of Manslaughter and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon in connection with an incident at a Lansdowne Street pub that resulted in the death of Michael DiMaria.

DiMaria, who lived in New York, was in Boston visiting with old friends from college and the group went to a pub on Lansdowne Street to spend some time together.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, prosecutors allege that a trivial argument broke out at the pub because one of the men in DiMaria's group accidentally brushed against Guardiola as he was going to the bathroom. An argument allegedly ensued and DiMaria's friend walked back to the table. At that point, Guardiola allegedly threw a beer mug, which shattered after hitting something and shards of sharp glass struck DiMaria, cutting his jugular vein.

Following his Arraignment on Manslaughter and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapons Charges, Guadiola was held on $75,000 cash bail.

Both the crimes of Murder and Manslaughter require proof of an unlawful killing, but the killing may be Manslaughter if it occurred under mitigating circumstances, i.e., if there is no evidence of malice.

In Massachusetts, Manslaughter is defined as the intentional unlawful killing of another, and in order to be convicted of Manslaughter, the prosecutor must prove:

  1. The defendant intentionally inflicted injuries likely to cause death upon the deceased that caused death; and

  2. The defendant acted unlawfully.

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August 3, 2010

Woman on Trial for Accidental Fatal Shooting of Son

Lakeisha Gordon is currently on trial for Manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of her 8 year old son, Liquarry Jefferson, in 2007.

Gordon and her older son, Jayquan McConnico, were both charged in the boy's death for unlawful storage of an unlicensed firearm within reach of a young child. Although McConnico was also charged, he pled guilty to similar charges in 2008.

Liquarry Jefferson was fatally shot in the home by another boy, who was 7 years old at the time. At trial today, the boy, now 10, testified that he was watching TV when Liquarry Jefferson showed him the gun, which belonged to Jayquan McConnico. The boy testified that he asked Jefferson if there were bullets in the gun, and Jefferson said no. At that point, the boy testified he accidentally shot Jefferson.

No matter how you look at this case, whether Gadson is convicted and sentenced, it is undisputed that the loss of Liquarry Jefferson was tragic. Without question, Gadson has suffered and will continue to suffer with the loss of her son. For her to be tried for manslaughter, in my opinion, crosses the line of those rare cases that perhaps shouldn't be prosecuted...

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