Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog
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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.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Attempted Murder and Arson.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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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.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Assault & Battery.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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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?

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defending persons accused of violating the Massachusetts Drug Laws, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

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

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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.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, including Rape and Indecent Assault & Battery.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Angel Haywood, 26, of Boston’s Dorchester section, was arrested this weekend on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend.

Haywood is was charged with Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon after she turned herself into the police station and admitting to stabbing her boyfriend.

According to the Boston Police Department, the incident occurred at about 4:00 o’clock this morning after the couple returned home. Haywood allegedly admitted to grabbing two knives and then stabbing her boyfriend, after which she jumped out a window and ran – with the stabbed boyfriend chasing her.

Boston Police spokesperson reported that when Angel Haywood turned herself in, she was crying and her clothes were bloodstained.

Although police searched the apartment and reportedly recovered two knives, the boyfriend who was stabbed has apparently not been located.

In Massachusetts, Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is punishable by imprisonment to the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years; or to state prison for up to 10 years. Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is defined as an intentional touching of another person, no matter how slight, with a dangerous weapon.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation for all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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A Massachusetts woman reported this week that she was allegedly raped after meeting a man on Facebook at an Andover hotel. David Rodriguez has been charged in connection with this alleged incident with several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges.

According to police, the woman replied to a request for a modeling agency. At the hotel, the woman was allegedly given a drink that was believed to be spiked and ultimately made her feel dizzy. Although the woman reportedly refused to take off all her clothes, she did agree to model lingerie for the man. After taking several photos, however, the man allegedly raped her.

David Rodriguez, who was arrested in New Jersey, has been arraigned in Lawrence District Court on charges of Rape and Assault and Battery. Following his arraignment, he was held on $100,000 cash bail.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, including Rape.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Three men, two of which were employees of the armored car company, were arrested this week on Massachusetts Robbery Charges in connection with Monday’s armored car robbery in Methuen: Eliezer Martinez, 26, and Jose Salazar Vasquez, 21, both from Lawrence; and Justin Levesque.

Methuen Police and Boston FBI reported that the men, two of which are employees of the armored car company, that they were working a transaction shortly after 3:00 p.m. when they were approached by a man with a gun and ordered back into the armored car where they were robbed.

The Essex County District Attorney’s Office, however, reported that the armored car guards allegedly gave conflicting stories, purportedly not getting straight the description of the alleged robber.

Although police allegedly did recover cash, a gun and duct tape, there is no confirmation as of yet how much of the approximately $380,000 that was allegedly stolen was recovered.

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

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

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Destin Jean, 22 of Randolph, was arraigned in Quincy District Court this morning on several Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges, including Drug Trafficking.

He had also previously been charged in Quincy on Gun Crimes Charges as well as Larceny of a Motor Vehicle and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

According to the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, Destin Jean was arrested following the execution of a search warrant after he had reportedly been the subject of a ‘month long investigation’ of alleged drug crimes.

In many types of these ‘investigation’ cases, police officers often typically engage confidential informants to purportedly conduct a few ‘controlled drug buys’ from a person suspected of dealing in narcotics from their home or other residence. Often times, the police themselves never enter into the home but rely almost exclusively on the representations of these ‘confidential informants’.

The confidential informants, meanwhile, are most often individuals who themselves have gotten or sometimes are currently in trouble with the police, and offer to provide information for lenient treatment in their present (or sometimes anticipated future) criminal matters.

In applying for the Search Warrant, the police almost never reveal the true identity of the confidential informant, but rather refer to him/her by code name, for instance, CI12, or “AJAX”. Ultimately, once the warrant is executed, the police hope to find evidence of criminal conduct and be able to establish a direct link to that criminal conduct to the person targeted in the investigations.

Sometimes, however, the government’s case could turn out to be a ‘dud’, particularly if the person arrested did not reside in the own; had no personal belongings within that might establish his residence there; had no independent access to the home without another person; had not previously been seen at or near the home; or if several or more persons could have also had access to the alleged criminal instrumentalities seized.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defending persons charged with Massachusetts Drug Crimes, including Drug Trafficking, Drug Distribution and Drug Distribution in a School Zone.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Orlando Kavanaugh, 28 from Boston, was arraigned in Brockton’s Plymouth County Superior Court on several Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges and Gun Crimes in connection with the death of Tina Gonsalves.

Kavanaugh has been charged with First Degree Murder; Armed Home Invasion; Armed Assault to Murder; Assault with a Dangerous Weapon; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, Orlando Kavanaugh allegedly broke into Tina Gonsalves’ Rockland apartment by breaking a window and then unlocking the back door. At some point during the unlawful entry, Gonsalves reportedly confronted and struggled with Kavanaugh, during which the handgun Kavanaugh allegedly was carrying went off, striking Gonsalves in the stomach. She later died of her wound at a Weymouth Hospital.

Afterwards, prosecutors allege that Kavanaugh ran to a waiting car outside, but not before he was also shot in the shoulder by Gonsalves’ son, who had his own firearm.

Police reportedly recovered Kavanaugh’s hooded sweatshirt from the scene, and also obtained video surveillance footage from a Brockton Hospital where he was dropped off to be treated for his own gunshot wound. The video footage reportedly also captured the alleged ‘getaway vehicle’, though it’s not clear if anyone else has been charged or even arrested in connection with this incident.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation for representation against all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence, as well as Massachusetts Gun Charges.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Adam J. Cassino, 25, of South Boston, was arrested on Murder Charges by Boston Police today and charged in connection with the beating death of his 65 year old neighbor, Barbara Tagen.

Cassino was arraigned today in South Boston District Court and charged with First Degree Murder.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Adam J. Cassino beat his neighbor in her apartment this past August, and that forensic evidence, including witnesses, allegedly link him to the murder.

Although the motive for the Murder is unclear, prosecutors allege that Tagen had accused Cassino of stealing from her in the past, and that this incident may have also been a robbery that preceded the beating death.

Boston Police also reported searched Cassino’s home and allegedly seized an unidentified object that they believe contains forensic evidence, suggest it may have been the weapon used to beat Tagen.

Following his arraignment in South Boston District Court on First Degree Murder Charges, Cassino was held without bail.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including First Degree Murder.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.