Massachusetts Appeals Court

By - 9/5/14 - 11:26 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overturned Luis Gonazalez's conviction and 12-year sentence for armed carjacking and witness intimidation because the judge in his trial took no action after jurors asked what they should do about the fact that one of them had been asleep during testimony.

The court said defendants and the public have a right to "conscious juries." Citing a long list of cases... Read more

By - 9/4/14 - 11:59 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court had to do just that, as part of a thought exercise to help it conclude that a man who wore only sheer white compression shorts into a Target store in 2011 was, in fact, guilty of exposing himself.

John Coppinger appealed his conviction for open and gross lewdness and lasciviousness by arguing the state law on the matter was unconstitutionally vague... Read more

By - 8/27/14 - 11:14 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today ordered court officials to destroy the records of a man who found himself facing trial for leaving the scene of an accident because a clerk somehow mixed up his records with those of the actual suspect, who has the same name.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2010 and 2012 that court records of people falsely accused of... Read more

By - 8/26/14 - 11:44 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld the prison term of a Springfield man who went berserk after his sons' basketball team lost and began a beatdown of the opposing coach that ended with him biting part of the man's left ear off.

Timothy Forbes appealed his 3-4 year prison sentence in part because the state mayhem law, under which he was convicted, refers to... Read more

By - 7/25/14 - 10:40 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Christopher Kostka can be ordered to provide a DNA sample that could rule him out as a possible suspect in the 2012 stabbing murder of Barbara Coyne - but bolster the case against his twin brother, Timothy.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office says that it needs the DNA sample to see if the two are fraternal... Read more

By - 7/16/14 - 11:52 am

In a decision that hinged on copies of deeds and maps dating to 1813 - and in particular, an 1819 map - the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today the public has the right to walk atop a seawall that a Rockport shopkeeper has been trying to keep shut.

In 2005, Wendy Stone-Ashe put a fence across the path in front of her property at... Read more

By - 6/4/14 - 11:01 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today Suffolk County prosecutors can't use the results of breath tests that showed an Arlington man was at least 1.5 times over the legal alcohol limit when he allegedly drove his pickup into a Boston Police prisoner wagon in the South End early on April 20, 2012.

Pauric Houragan blew .121 and .143 on two breath tests after the crash... Read more

By - 6/2/14 - 11:06 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a Boston police officer did nothing wrong in chasing after and arresting a man he suspected was packing a gun late one night on Norfolk Street in Roxbury.

In its ruling, the court overturned an order by Boston Municipal Court Judge Raymond Dougan that prosecutors could not use the gun allegedly found on Olajuwan Jones-Pannell on Aug. 6, 2011.... Read more

By - 5/7/14 - 10:58 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today ordered a new trial for Richard Aspen, 73, convicted in 1998 of repeatedly raping his stepdaughter because the attorney who handled his original appeal blew it.

In its ruling, the court rejected Aspen's contentions that his trial lawyer failed to call witnesses that might have bolstered his claim of innocence on the charges that he raped the girl when she... Read more

By - 4/25/14 - 10:48 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that the owners of a German Shepherd have to pay the $8,000 veterinary bill incurred by the owners of the tiny bichon frise their pet ripped up in Newton in 2008.

The large-breed owners argued that state law should have limited their liability to the "replacement cost" of the smaller dog, which they said was far less than... Read more

By - 4/3/14 - 11:37 am
Old North Church

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that the group that runs free tours of Old North Church is not liable for the injuries a Georgia tourist suffered when she tripped on a pew riser in 2006, because it's covered under a state law that exempts sites that offer free access or tours from injury liability.

In her lawsuit, Linda Patterson argued that the tour... Read more

By - 3/27/14 - 11:11 am

In unusually harsh language, the Massachusetts Appeals Court today ordered the Boston Housing Authority to restore the Section 8 housing voucher of a man who physically could not have attended hearings it held on his case because he was in jail at the time.

The court found the authority violated its own regulations for how to hold hearings and misled Melvin Furtick on whether he... Read more

By - 3/25/14 - 11:32 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld illegal-weapons convictions against a college student found walking around campus with a loaded gun in his backpack after a security guard spotted live rounds and a hunting knife in the console of his Jeep - which was festooned with stickers reading "Kill 'Em All Let God Sort It Out" and "Sniper No Need to Run--You'll Only Die Tired."

Jason... Read more

By - 3/20/14 - 11:23 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld Trevon Mason's conviction for resisting arrest in an armed-holdup investigation in 2008 - roughly four months before he was arrested for fatally shooting a man in the lobby of a Stanwood Street apartment building and injuring the woman whom the victim was shielding with his body.

Mason had originally been arrested on a variety of charges for a... Read more

By - 2/7/14 - 11:21 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that the fact a man had a transparent blue plastic cover over his license plate was not enough of a reason for a state trooper to pull him over on Rte. 495 in 2011.

And because that was the only reason the trooper pulled Michael Bernard over, the illegal gun the trooper found on Bernard during a pat frisk... Read more

By - 1/21/14 - 1:06 pm

A man facing illegal-weapons charges stemming from a Mattapan traffic stop will have to explain why police say they found a loaded gun in a secret compartment in his car when he goes to trial, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today.

A lower-court judge had tossed the evidence against Yves Montaine, saying the mere fact his car reeked of un-smoked marijuana when he was stopped... Read more

By - 11/26/13 - 11:31 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld a Newbury man's conviction on a charge of willfully interfering with a firefighter in the performance of his duty and resisting arrest on the night his house went up in flames.

When Sean Joyce's house caught on fire on April 12, 2011, neighbors and police arrived to find him standing outside screaming and pounding his car trunk. Despite orders... Read more

By - 10/9/13 - 12:02 pm

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by three Brighton residents against a major expansion plan by Boston College.

In their suit, residents said the BRA was a "quasi judicial" body and therefore violated the state constitution in approving a 10-year, $1.6-billion "institutional master plan" by holding private discussions with college officials and not swearing in people testifying in public on... Read more

By - 3/6/13 - 10:47 am

So this guy out in the Berkshires gets his license taken away after his second OUI conviction, appeals 10 years later to get it reinstated, to which the state agrees on condition he install one of those in-dash breath-tester gizmos, which he installs, only then he takes it out and gets caught and has his license taken away.

And then, two years later, he's stopped... Read more

By - 2/21/13 - 11:02 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overruled a lower-court judge and said prosecutors could use a loaded gun found in a space behind a car dashboard during a Dorchester traffic stop as evidence against the man charged with its illegal possession.

Ishmal Haynes was arrested on Nov. 8, 2009 in "a high crime area of the Dorchester section of Boston" after a state trooper and two... Read more

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