Recently in Violent Crimes Category

June 21, 2013

Medford Northeastern Student Charged with Boston Attack on Women


A Northeastern student was recently charged with various Massachusetts Crimes of Violence against two women in Boston in separate incidents.

The student, who is from Medford, was charged in Roxbury District Court last week with Assault with Intent to Rape, Armed Robbery, and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. In this incident, the student is alleged to have jumped out of bushes and attacked a woman, threatening to rape her while trying to remove her clothes. The woman reportedly suffered wounds to her hand and her leg and reported that the student used a knife in this attack.

In another incident occurred later that same evening, the student allegedly knocked another woman over and tried to rape her. He was charged in connection with that incident in West Roxbury District Court with Assault with Intent to Rape.

Although these attacks are technically 'separate' incidents, the prosecutor may seek to "join" the offenses and try them together as one single scheme.

Generally speaking, evidence of a separate crime cannot be introduced at a defendant's trial for another crime in order to show a propensity for criminal conduct, but there are some exceptions. Smart prosecutors may seek to join the two incidents by asserting to the court that they are related by way of common scheme or pattern, and it would be in the interests of judicial economy to have the two matters tried at one trial.

Among the factors a judge would consider for joinder of the offenders would be the similarity of the alleged conduct, i.e., common scheme or pattern; and whether the same witnesses would be testifying at both trials.

Although allegations of random sexual attacks often turn on the sufficiency of the identification of the alleged perpetrator, in each of these cases, the police reportedly had video surveillance footage of the student at or near the alleged incidents.

Not having scene the surveillance video or still images, any competent defense attorney would certainly want to thoroughly review the integrity of the images and determine if there are then any challenges to the defendant's identification.

Assault with Intent to Rape in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment to state prison for life or for any term of years. A conviction would further subject the defendant to other collateral consequences, including mandatory Sex Offender Registration.

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May 21, 2013

Lowell Father Charged with Assaulting 2 Month Old Son


A Lowell father was arraigned in Lowell District Court last week on Massachusetts Violent Crimes Charges for allegedly assaulting his two month old infant.

The defendant, Christopher Berry, was formally arraigned on Aggravated Assault & Battery charges, but that charge could be upgraded if the child succumbs to its injuries. He was held on $500,000 cash bail.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, the defendant was caring for the infant when, over apparent frustration, allegedly violently shook the baby for as many as 30 seconds. Prosecutors believe that the infant suffered grave brain injuries and it is not known at this time if it will survive. Prosecutors do not believe the child's injuries are consistent with accidental trauma.

The Massachusetts Violent Crime of Aggravated Assault & Battery is defined as an intentional touching, without justification, that results in serious bodily injury. Under the law, 'serious bodily injury' is defined as injury that results in permanent disfigurement, loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ, or a substantial risk of death.

A conviction for the crime of aggravated assault & battery is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.

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March 12, 2013

Cambridge Teenager Arrested for Attempted Rape of Woman in Watertown


A Cambridge teenager was arrested on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly attacking a woman in Watertown as she walked to her home after getting off the bus.

Watertown Police report that the woman, who had just gotten off the bus on Belmont Street, was attacked by a teen wearing a Halloween type 'skull' mask. The woman reported that the teen struck her in the head several times and demanded she give him whatever she had. The teenager then told the woman to take off her clothes.

Police reportedly identified the teenager, who is 16, from video surveillance footage from nearby business. Watertown Police also secured a search warrant for his home, in which they recovered the woman's cell phone and credit cards.

The teenager was formally charged with Armed Robbery While Being Masked; Assault & Battery; Kidnapping; and Assault with Intent to Rape.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape is the assault of another with the intent to engage in sexual intercourse without consent, and is punishable with imprisonment for life or for any term of years.

In addition to any potential prison sentence, a conviction for this sex crime would also subject the defendant to mandatory sex offender registration; require him to submit his DNA to the state's DNA database; and could subject him to a term of community parole supervision for life.

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March 8, 2013

Massachusetts 15 Year Old Charged with Attempted Murder


A 15 year old from Attleboro is charged with several Massachusetts Violent Crimes for allegedly kidnapping and attempting to drown and stab a 63 year old woman.

The teenager was arraigned this week in Taunton District Court on several charges, including attempted murder; kidnapping; home invasion; assault with intent to murder; aggravated assault & battery; and intimidation of a witness.

According to the Bristol County D.A.'s Office, the defendant broke into the woman's home around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday and a scuffle ensued, during which time the victim was slashed about her body. Several hours later, the woman was reportedly taken to a pond near Seekonk where the teenager allegedly tried to drown her.

Unable to accomplish the drown, the teenager then allegedly drove the woman to another location where he tried to asphyxiate her by clogging the vehicle's tailpipe. While he was doing this, the woman was able to break free from her restraints and drove the car to the hospital.

The crime of Attempted Murder in Massachusetts is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. In order to prove the crime of attempted murder, the prosecutor would have to establish (1) a specific intent to commit the crime of murder; (2) an overt act towards committing the crime of murder and that the defendant was reasonably close to actually carrying out that intent; and (3) that the defendant's act did not result in the crime being completed.

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February 12, 2013

Boston Man Charged for Murder After Asthma Death


A Boston man, from Dorchester, was charged with Murder after the man he allegedly shot at, but missed, died from an asthma attack.

The defendant was arraigned this week in Suffolk Superior Court and charged with Murder, Armed Assault to Murder, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

According to Suffolk County prosecutors, the defendant allegedly started shooting at three men. One of the men shot at was Kelvin Rowell, 40 years old. Although Rowell was able to get away safely and was not hit by any of the bullets, he apparently suffered an asthma attack and was unable to breathe, falling into a coma shortly thereafter and eventually dying.

The Massachusetts Office of the Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

What is interesting in a murder case such as this is that the victim was never struck with a bullet, i.e., his death was not a direct result of having been shot, or shot at all.

So how is the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office able to charge this defendant with murder?

Prosecutors are likely proceeding with murder charges on the theory that the defendant's actions or conduct was the proximate cause of the defendant's death. Under Massachusetts criminal law, "proximate cause" is established when the conduct of the defendant sets forth into motion a chain of events that result in death.

In other words, the prosecution is likely theorizing that the defendant's conduct in shooting at the defendant, despite missing, by the natural and continuous sequence of events, i.e., the victim suffering an asthma attack, caused the death. Put different, without the unlawful conduct of shooting at the victim, he would not have suffered an asthma attack and would not have died.

Although the defense will surely examine this and other available defenses in this case, it will surely be very interesting to see how this specific issue is addressed and ultimately handled.

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December 10, 2012

Lowell Man Charged with Beating 2 Year Old Child


A Lowell man was charged last week with several counts of Massachusetts Violent Crimes Charges for allegedly beating and causing serious injuries to his girlfriend's 2 year old daughter.

The defendant, Bunthang Ponn, of Lowell, was arraigned in Lowell District Court last Friday and charged with several counts of Aggravated Assault & Battery on a Child with Serious Injury and Intimidation of a Witness.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, the defendant allegedly assaulted his girlfriend's 2 year old daughter, breaking her back and ribs. At his arraignment, prosecutors represented that the child may also have suffered irreparable brain damage from a massive stroke.

Speaking with police, the defendant denied having been left alone with the child but did allegedly admit to having baby-sat the girl. Prosecutors alleged that the defendant also stated to his girlfriend that the child had fallen out of a high chair and began to shake.

Aggravated Assault & Battery with Serious Injury is defined as the intentional touching, however slight, that is harmful or offensive and committed without justification and which results in serious bodily injury. Under Massachusetts criminal laws, "serious bodily injury" is defined as injury that results in permanent disfigurement, loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ, or a substantial risk of death.

Following his arraignment in Lowell District Court, the defendant was ordered held on $500,000 bail.

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October 28, 2012

Boston Man Arrested for Milford Home Invasion


Two men have been arrested and charged with Massachusetts Crimes of Violence charges in connection with a Milford home invasion on September 29.

Rashad Blount, of Boston, and Richard Booker, of Middleboro, were both arrested this past week and charged with several violent crimes, including Armed Home Invasion, Armed Robbery, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

According to police, Blount allegedly appeared at the home of the victim identifying himself as a pizza delivery man. A short time later, Booker allegedly entered the home, identifying himself as a police officer. Police also believe a third suspect may have also arrived.

After donning masks, one of the men then ordered the occupants to lay on the floor while the other man opened the safe in the bedroom. Blount is alleged to have pulled out a gun during the robbery, in which $7,000 in cash, checks and other items were taken.

When the Milford couple returned from their honeymoon, the wife allegedly identified one of the suspects from the profile of a mutual friend on Facebook. Both Blount and Booker were each arrested following that Facebook identification.

One of the central defenses in a case of this nature is certainly going to be the veracity of the identification made by the victim through Facebook. Comparing whatever initial descriptions of the suspects may have given to the police with the eventual identification could make or break the prosecution's case. Particularly if one or both of the men are able to establish any alibis for themselves during the date and time of the alleged incident.

Identification of the defendant is one of the most important issues in a criminal case, as the prosecution would obviously have no case if it cannot prove the identity of the perpetrator of the crime.

In assessing whether a witness' identification of the defendant is adequate, a jury is aksed to consider whether they are convinced that the witness had the capacity, and an adequate opportunity, to observe the person.

Whether an identification is adequate can depend on a number of factors, including how long or short a time was available for the observation; how far or close the witness was; the lighting conditions; whether the witness had occasion to see or know the suspect in the past; and the length of time that lapsed between the occurrence of the crime and the identification of the defendant.

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September 13, 2012

Cambridge Woman Arrested for Assault Brookline Police Officer


A Cambridge woman was arrested this week on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges for allegedly assaulting a Brookline Police Officer. She was charged with Assault & Battery on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct.

According to the Brookline Police Department, the officer came across the woman on Harvard Street in Brookline and she appeared to be unsteady on her feet. She and a male companion were apparently trying to locate a taxi. 15 minutes later, the Brookline Police came across the Cambridge woman again, this time in the company of two other men. Upon speaking with her, she then allegedly began yelling at other men passing by to take her home.

When police asked her to sit down, she allegedly became irate and attempted to hit the police officers, spit on them and kicked one in the groin.

The crime of Assault and Battery on a Police Officer is defined as the intentional harmful or offensive touching (however slight) upon a police officer without justification. A conviction for this crime carries a sentence of not less than 90 days and up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections.

Resisting Arrest is the act of knowingly preventing or attempting to prevent a police officer from effecting an arrest of a person by the use of threats or physical force or violence. The crime of Resisting Arrest is punishable by imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years.

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August 2, 2012

Two Men Arrested in Double Homicide and Home Invasion in Haverhill, Massachusetts


Three men have been arrested in connection with last week's Home Invasion in Haverhill. All three men have been charged with Massachusetts Murder Charges, as well as Home Invasion, and Gun Crimes Charges.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, several men attempted to gain access to and rob an apartment on River Street in Haverhill. The attempted robbery went bad, and eventually led to two people being killed, and others seriously injured from gunshot wounds.

The violent crime of Home Invasion in Massachusetts is defined as the entering into the home of another while armed and where the use or threatened use of force is employed. Home Invasion carries a potential penalty of not less than 20 years and up to life in state prison.

With regard to sentencing on this case, the imposition of the 20 year minimum sentence is not mandatory, in the sense that the if someone is found guilty of this crime, a judge does have discretion to not sentence him/her to state prison, but to place the person on probation for some length of time. Only in circumstances where the sentencing judge imposes a sentence of commitment for the crime of Home Invasion, the minimum sentence that must be imposed is 20 years.

By contrast of course, the crime of 1st Degree Murder carries a mandatory life sentence to state prison without the possibility of parole.

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May 23, 2012

Man Charged with Attemted Murder for Home Invasion in Massachusetts State Trooper's Home


A Massachusetts State Trooper's home was the subject of an attempted robbery and shooting this past weekend by a man reportedly from Oklahoma who was in town for a family funeral. The man, charged with Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, was arraigned in Plymouth District Court on charges including Home Invasion, Attempted Murder, and Gun Crimes Charges.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, the man allegedly appeared at the Massachusetts trooper's home with a gun and attempted to gain access. When other police officers responded to the area, the man then allegedly fired his gun at them.

The crime of Home Invasion in Massachusetts is defined as the unlawful entry into the home of another with the threat to use force and while armed with a dangerous weapon. The penalty upon conviction for the crime of Home Invasion is severe, which carries a minimum-mandatory sentence of 20 years and up to life in state prison.

The crime of Attempted Murder in Massachusetts is where a person, with the specific intent to commit the crime of Murder, takes an overt act towards committing murder and came reasonably close to doing so. Attempted Murder is punishable with a sentence to state prison for up to 10 years.

Strictly considering the potential penalties involved in these types of crimes, there aren't that many crimes that are considered more 'serious' than Home Invasion. As such, these types of crimes are prosecuted extremely aggressively. In this case, given that the purported victim was a Massachusetts State Trooper, the defendant here can expect that the district attorney's office will make this case a priority.

That being said, the defendant here should be sure to have competent and aggressive counsel on his side.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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