Police: Guy crashes car in South Boston, tries to ditch loaded gun before first responders arrive

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 21:30

Boston Police report arresting Darius Boodoosingh, 18, of Roslindale, following a car crash at E and West 2 streets last night - after finding a gun in the backpack they say he tossed in a nearby dumpster. Read more.

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Bad weather in New York forces whale of a plane to land at Logan

Dan Santry watched an Air France A380 - the world's largest passenger plane - roll across the tarmac at Logan Airport this afternoon after it was diverted here due to bad weather in New York. They remain an unusual sight in Boston because Terminal E is still being fitted with the two-level jetways needed to quickly unload the two-level planes.

Lots of other planes were also stranded at Logan, as Jocelyn shows us (if you look carefully, that's the Air France tubby on the right - see it larger):

Planes at Logan Airport

Just because a dog keeps wandering onto your property doesn't mean you can just shoot it, court rules

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld the animal-cruelty conviction for a man who shot a dog that kept showing up on his property in an attempt to "sting" her and make her stay away.

The Hatfield resident testified that he shot the dog not just because she kept breaking her leash at a neighbor's farm but because she was using paths he had dug through snow to let his wife, who has multiple sclerosis, exercise outside.

He was, he testified, worried his wife, who has limited mobility, would slip on the dog's feces and suffer a major injury. So the fourth time the dog - which had shown no signs of aggression - showed up on his property, he took careful aim at her hindquarters with a pellet gun and shot her. But the pellet did more than just sting the animal - it lodge near a major nerve and left her with in obvious pain for several weeks despite veterinary care - and caused a permanent limp.

Although Massachusetts law allows a person to harm an animal for "a justifiable purpose," the appeals court ruled the shooting went beyond that and was just plain cruel:

While the defendant's concern for his wife's safety is understandable, even admirable, he had legal alternatives to shooting the dog, including monitoring his property for animal feces when his wife was planning to walk, and calling the town dog officer, as he had done before. In addition, as he testified, he aimed and fired directly at the dog, hitting her in precisely the spot he intended.

On these facts, we are satisfied that the judge reasonably could have found that the defendant "intentionally and knowingly did acts which were plainly of a nature to inflict unnecessary pain, and so were unnecessarily cruel."

New trial ordered for man convicted of shaking toddler hard enough to cause brain damage

For the second time in two months, the Supreme Judicial Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of shaking a young child hard enough to cause brain damage, saying his lawyer should have tried to find a scientific witness to rebut the charges.

The state's highest court ruled the science behind shaken-baby syndrome is now so unsettled that justice demands Derrick Epps of Haverhill be given a second chance to make his case that his girlfriend's two-year-old suffered permanent brain injuries in 2004 not because he violently shook her but because she fell down some stairs and then fell off a kitchen stool.

In 2010, Epps was sentenced to 7 to 10 years in state prison.

The court's decision hinged on the question of whether Epps' lawyer erred in not calling any scientific witnesses to rebut prosecution claims after deciding not to try to defend his client by trying to show the girlfriend actually shook the toddler:

Having informed the judge at the beginning of trial that he did not plan to pursue a third-party culprit defense, defense counsel's failure to consult with any expert other than Dr. Sussman effectively meant that the defendant commenced trial without any substantial defense, even though further investigation would have supported a potentially substantial defense of accident.

Last month, the court used similar reasoning to order a new trial for a Woburn man convicted on similar charges for a 2009 incident involving his six-month-old daughter.

The awesomeness of the revived Johnson Wing at the Copley Square library

Alex Green can't say enough about the new non-dungeony insides:

A literary culture thrives on readers, and while our city has never lacked for those, it has gone long stretches with little in the way of public spaces in which they might feel inspired to gather. The Boston Public Library’s newly renovated Johnson building, which opened on July 9, so successfully embraces and celebrates the idea of being a literary public space that it has the potential to fill that absence for good.

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