Massachusetts Appeals Court

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

By - 2/15/13 - 10:51 am

In the latest of a series of similar gun rulings, the Massachusetts Appeals Court today rejected a Brockton man's argument that the Second Amendment lets him walk around with a gun without having to bother with the niceties of first applying for a license to carry.

Both the appeals court and the Supreme Judicial Court have repeatedly held over the past couple of years that...Read more

By - 8/17/12 - 8:42 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court yesterday threw out the gun conviction of a man who'd been stopped for failing to signal a left turn and running a red light on Quincy Street in Roxbury in 2009.

The court ruled that while Boston Police officers had the right to order Jeromie Johnson - who already had two convictions for illegal weapons possession - out of the...Read more

By - 7/25/12 - 1:59 pm

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a state law on bank embezzlement should not have been used to prosecute a Worcester couple convicted of staging a fake robbery so that they could make off with money from the credit union where the wife worked.

The court said state law specifically refers to banks, not federal credit unions, such as the Wyman-Gordon Federal Credit Union where...Read more

By - 7/20/12 - 11:00 am

A Chelsea man whose manslaughter conviction was overturned because the jury heard testimony it shouldn't have is not entitled to damages from the state for the time he spent in prison, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today.

Michael Riley was convicted of manslaughter in 1986 after a friend he was with fatally stabbed somebody with whom he'd fought the night before. Riley got a new...Read more

By - 7/16/12 - 11:08 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that heroin found in a car after the driver was pulled over for a traffic infraction can't be used as evidence against him or his passenger, because the only reason state troopers ordered the two men out was the aroma of burned pot, which by itself is no longer an indication of criminal activity in Massachusetts.

The two men...Read more

By - 6/8/12 - 10:53 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court told a convicted burglar today he's guilty of "entering a residence during the daytime with the intent to commit a felony and with the resulting infliction of fear upon a lawful occupant" even if he didn't want to scare the homeowner who heard him trying to get into her house.

Obdulio Santana argued the court should dismiss his conviction because prosecutors...Read more

By - 6/6/12 - 11:12 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a Boston police officer did nothing wrong when he searched under the mattress on which a teen was sitting as he awaited arrest and found a gun.

Police officers had arrived at Paris Quiltner's home on Moody Street in Dorchester in May, 2010 to arrest him on a warrant for trespassing, but added a charge of illegal weapons...Read more

By - 5/2/12 - 2:23 pm

The Massachusetts Court of Appeals today upheld a jury's conviction of a bookkeeper at Bridgewater State College for embezzling more than $355,000 in a year.

Clare Werner argued the conviction should be appealed because her lawyer discovered two of the jurors had posted complaints about being selected for the jury on Facebook and because the trial judge dismissed her complaint about that online activity even...Read more