Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog
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The United States Supreme Court today heard arguments in the cases of Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama on the issue of whether it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the 8th Amendment, to sentence a youthful offender to life without the possibility of parole. The decision result in a change to Massachusetts law, which currently allows for juvenile life sentences without parole.

By way of background, the court has previously ruled against similar punishments for youth and adult offenders in the past. In 2005, the Court prohibited the imposition of the death penalty for any minor convicted of murder in the case of Roper v. Simmons. Then, in 2010, in the case of Graham v. Florida, the Supreme Court prohibited the imposition of a life without the possibility of parole sentence for a minor who committed any crime other than murder.

In both of those cases, the Supreme Court ruled that, due to the immaturity of youthful judgment and moral sense, those punishments were unconstitutional and therefore a form of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment. With those cases as a backdrop, attorneys are urging the court to rule that a sentence of life without parole for the crime of murder is also too severe and unconstitutional.

The decision could have long reaching implications to several cases, including those in Massachusetts, such as the case of John Odgren, who as a teenager, was convicted of First Degree Murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He was 16 at the time of the murder.

Prior to 1996, juveniles charged with murder in Massachusetts would have their cases tried in Juvenile Court. In 1996, however, the Massachusetts legislature amended the law which now mandates that juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17 who are charged with murder to have their cases transferred to adult court. In Massachusetts alone, there are 59 inmates who were charged with murder before they were 18. Notably, 38 other states have passed similar laws permitting juveniles to be sentenced to life without parole sentences for murder.

The indication from reporters, following oral arguments, is that the United States Supreme Court will lean towards ruling that sentencing youthful offenders to life without the possibility of parole is not cruel and unusual punishment. …but the official decision is not expected until sometime this summer.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence, including Murder, as well as Massachusetts Criminal Appeals.

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

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A 22 year old from Roslindale was arraigned yesterday on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the stabbing death of Kenneth Soto, 19, in October 2011.

The defendant, Hector Soto, was arraigned in the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court on First Degree Murder Charges.

According to the Suffolk County D.A.’s Office, prosecutors allege that Hector Soto and Kenneth Soto were in separate vehicles with respective friends in the 7-11 parking lot on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. As Kenneth Soto exited the store, Hector Soto allegedly approached him the two engaged in a fight that resulted in the stabbing death of Kenneth Soto.

First Degree Murder in Massachusetts is the unlawful killing of another with deliberate premeditation and malice, and is punishable by imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.

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.

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A Cambrdige security guard was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges last week.

The security guard, who is reportedly from Hyde Park, has been indicted on sex charges including Assault with Intent to Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court tomorrow.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, Cambridgeside Galleria police responded to a woman crying for help at 2:00 a.m. on November 11. A review of surveillance video reportedly shows the security guard from Hyde Park escorting a woman around the rear mall entrance to the Cambridgeside Galleria from Thorndike Street. At that point, the man allegedly grabbed the woman, forced himself on her and allegedly sexually assaulted her. The woman was reportedly able to walk away to a nearby hotel where she called for help.

Assault with Intent to Commit Rape in Massachusetts is a felony that is defined as an assault of another with intent to engage in sexual acts without their consent, and is punishable by commitment to state prison for any term of years up to life. If, however, the accused has previously been convicted of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape, the minimum-mandatory penalty to be imposed is 20 years in state prison.

Indecent Assault & Battery in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment in the House of Correction for up to 2.5 years, or to state prison for up to 5 years.

A conviction for the crimes of Assault with Intent to Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery would each render the person subject to Sex Offender Registration and require him to submit a sample to the Massachusetts State DNA Database.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in defending persons charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Rape, Assault with Intent to Commit Rape, and Indecent Assault & Battery, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

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

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The Newton Public School teacher who has already been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on Massachusetts Sex Crime Charges, has now also been indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on additional sexual assault charges, including Aggravated Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14.

The new charges against the former Newton second-grade elementary school teacher at the Underwood School, David Ettlinger, seem to have arisen from the discovery of files of his computer and from search warrants conducted following his initial arrest.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office also revealed the discovery of additional photographs that aren’t ‘pornographic’, but have rather termed them as ‘troubling.’ The photos allegedly depict children playing the playground and on school grounds. Notably, however, Ettlinger did also make an annual video tutorial and photo collage for parents during his tenure at the school, which could also explain these other photographs.

Given the high profile and sensitivity of these charges, however, prosecutors will sort through everything they can find with a fine-tooth comb and certainly seek to charge him with anything they can. It’s also been reported that the Ettlinger may also face federal sex crimes charges as well for an alleged connection in a ‘global internet pornography ring’.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in defendant Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, including Rape, Indecent Assault & Battery, and Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

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

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Boston Police have arrested a Dorchester man and charged him with Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the shooting death of Anthony Depina in Roxbury last week.

Jason Barbosa was arraigned in Roxbury District Court yesterday on charges of First Degree Murder and Gun Crimes Charges.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Jason Barbosa allegedly encountered Anthony Depina in area where Depina wasn’t supposed to be, in an alleged referenced to gang turf. A few hours later, Barbosa allegedly encountered Depina again, at which point he is alleged to have shot him in the chest and head.

Prosecutors allege that Jason Barbosa was linked to the crime scene by video surveillance, as well as a GPS device that he was reportedly wearing as a condition of his probation on an unrelated criminal matter.

Simply because prosecutors have alleged that Jason Barbosa was in the vicinity at or around of the alleged murder, that does not necessarily mean that he was the one who pulled the trigger or was otherwise in any way connected with this crime. It is still unclear if there is any other evidence, whether forensic, ballistics, or otherwise, that could more accurately connect Barbosa to this murder.

First Degree Murder in Massachusetts is defined as the unlawful killing committed with deliberate premeditation with malice, and is punishable by commitment to state prison for life.

Following his arraignment in Roxbury District Court, Jason Barbosa was held without bail pending his next court appearance.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defending persons charged with Massachusetts Crimes of Violence, and is available 24/7 for consultation for those charges, including First Degree Murder and Gun Crimes Charges.

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

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Max Nicastro, a Boston University hockey player, was arraigned in the Brighton Municipal Court last week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly raping another BU student on campus.

Nicastro was arraigned on two counts of Rape and released on $10,000 bail.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the female student was allegedly raped last Sunday, a few hours following the Boston University and University of Massachusetts-Lowell hockey game. Boston University Police, after conducting “interviews”, reportedly arrested Max Nicastro at 6:30 a.m.

The crime of Rape in Massachusetts is defined as the compelling another to engage in sexual acts against their will, and is punishable by life imprisonment for up to 20 years. Additionally, a conviction for rape also carries other collateral severe penalties, including Sex Offender Registration.

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.

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A freshman student at Falmouth High School allegedly brought a gun to school this past week and has been charged with Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges.

According to Falmouth High School representatives, the student, who is reportedly 15 years old, was allegedly bragging to other students that he had a gun. Falmouth Police were called to the school and found that the student did, indeed, have a gun on him, but it was not loaded.

According to police, the student took the gun from a relative, who is reportedly licensed to carry firearms. His license to carry has reportedly been suspended pending a further investigation.

The student was arraigned in Falmouth Juvenile Court and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. He was released on personal recognizance and ordered to abide by a curfew and to stay away from Falmouth High School.

The Massachusetts Gun Crime of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 18 months and up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections. Under Massachusetts law, a “firearm” is defined as a pistol, revolver or other weapon, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged, and whose barrel is less than 16 inches.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges, including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Carrying a Loaded Firearm.

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

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached via e-mail at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Eldrick D. Broom, 27, of Roxbury, was arraigned today in Dorchester District Court on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the death of Rosanna Camilo on November 21.

Brook has been charged with First Degree Murder and Aggravated Rape.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Broom allegedly attacked Rosanna Camilo inside her Roxbury apartment. Prosecutors allege that he raped and strangled her to death. Camilo’s body was found in her bedroom by her 16 year old daughter while her other 17 month old child was in his crib.

Broom reportedly had previously been arrested for allegedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, who reportedly lived in an apartment close to Rosanna Camilo’s. In that incident, he had been charged with Aggravated Assault & Battery.

At this point, Broom has only been charged at the district court level, and prosecutors would not be very forthcoming with offering all the alleged evidence that may be known to them. Typically from this point forward, prosecutor would be presenting a presentation to the Grand Jury in an effort towards obtaining an indictment. If and when an indictment is returned, Broom will then be arraigned in Superior Court.

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

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

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An employee at the Newton Public Library was before the court today on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges. He was arraigned in Newton District Court on 3 counts of Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, the employee was arrested at his home where Massachusetts State Police investigators allegedly seized a laptop containing several images of child porn. At his arraignment, prosecutors alleged that the man admitting to possession the child pornography and that he had been using a peer to peer network to download the files.

Following his arraignment, the Newton library employee was held on $5,000 cash bail and ordered to have no contact with children under the age of 18 and to stay away from the Newton Public Library.

This is the second such arrest involving Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography. Last week, a Newton Public School teacher was also arrested and charged with similar Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges.

In many cases involving child pornography, investigators will often target peer to peer networks where users can ‘share’ and download files from other users onto their own computer. Typically, an investigator will access the network and scan the files available on a person’s computer being shared on the network. From there, police will then track who is uploading and/or downloading the files by locating the user’s IP address.

The IP address will not provide the user’s name, but will provide the investigator’s the network, e.g., verizon, comcast, etc., that is hosting the address. Police will then subpoena the internet provider to obtain the registration information and name of the person for that specific IP address.

With this information, police will then apply for a search warrant to enter the person’s home and seize the computer and any other images for evidence.

One of the most important and critical pieces of advice I can offer to someone who has been arrested or even being investigated for any crime is to never speak to the police without a lawyer. If the police are targeting you as a suspect or someone they are likely to arrest, they are not your friends. They will not ‘help you help yourself’. If they come to your house or ‘want to speak with you’ about a potential crime you may be involved with they will inevitably arrest you whether you speak to them or not.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, including Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

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

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A Newton Public School Teacher was arraigned yesterday in Brighton District Court on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges. He was arraigned on two charges of Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Newton second-grade teacher allegedly had hundred of images on his computer that they say constitute child pornography; and also allegedly discovered videos of the teacher allegedly assault a young teenage girl.

The teacher, who was reportedly very well respected by his peers and the Newton Public School system, was arrested at his home in Brighton after the Massachusetts State Police executed a search warrant.

Following his arraignment in Brighton District Court, the teacher was held on $10,000, but was also detained without bail as a result of an outstanding warrant in West Roxbury District Court on what is believed to be additional Sex Crimes Charges.

Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography in Massachusetts is defined as the possession of a photograph or visual reproduction of any child whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18, and the child is engaged in sexual intercourse or otherwise depicted in an act or pose of a sexual nature.

A person convicted for the Sex Crime of Possession of Child Pornography may face up to 5 years in state prison and will also render him/her subject to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Laws.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, including Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

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