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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