Massachusetts Appeals Court

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.

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.

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.

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 $8,000.

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.

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 could appeal its rulings, telling him could not, when its own guidelines said he could.

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."

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 September, 2008 incident in which a pizza-delivery man was held up, allegedly at gunpoint.

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 cannot be used against him in a trial for possession of an illegal weapon because the trooper had no reason to think Bernard was doing anything illegal at the time that would warrant pulling him out of his car and frisking him, the court ruled.

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.

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 from a police officer, Joyce went back into the flaming house - followed by his mother. Then Newbury FIre Chief William Pearson arrived:

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 the proposal or letting the residents cross-examine anybody who testified. The result of the BRA process was changes to the city zoning code, which were then approved by the Boston Zoning Commission.

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 again and charged with violating the "ignition interlock device" condition and is convicted on that charge.

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 Boston police officers spotted him making "several traffic violations" and a search of his car showed he'd stashed a loaded gun in a space behind the dashboard of his rented car.

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 our state's gun-permitting laws are constitutional and that only somebody who has applied for a firearms license can make a Second Amendment claim.

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.

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 they staged a fake robbery in 2002. The court cited a 1903 ruling by the US Supreme Court that, in fact, states could not enact criminal laws related specifically to financial institutions with federal charters.

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 trial when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that part of the evidence against him was essentially hearsay and, the second time around, he was acquitted.

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.

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 failed to prove he intended to inflict fear on a woman whose house he was caught breaking into after she'd hired him to paint a fence, told him she would be at work - but then stayed home.