In a recent Massachusetts appellate decision, the defendant was convicted of assault and battery with a deadly weapon on a pregnant person, as well as ordinary assault and battery on a pregnant woman and a violation of an abuse prevention order. He argued on appeal that the prosecutor’s misstatements warranted granting a new trial.
This Massachusetts assault case arose when the defendant began dating the victim, who was pregnant by about three or four months. They argued while staying at a friend’s. The victim tried to stop the conversation, and in response, the defendant punched her face. He stole her handbag, including the money and a cell phone chip that were in it.
Later, while they were staying at a hotel with another couple, the defendant left. When he got back, he found her showering and accused her of being unfaithful. He tried to argue with her and closed the bathroom door. The victim asked him to open the door. He opened it and punched her in the face, and he pinned her to the wall. Later, he let her leave the bathroom. Security was called, and they came and took him out of the room.
After that, she got an abuse prevention order. The order was extended, but at the defendant’s request, the victim asked the judge to change the order to allow contact. The two went to stay at another hotel. While the defendant was away, the victim had a friend over. The defendant came back and made fun of the friend, who left. Another argument began, and again the defendant was violent with her. He smothered her with pillows and slammed her head on the floor and door.
She got away. While trying to use the phone, she perceived the defendant running away. A hotel employee called the police. The police found her disheveled, with blood on her. There was blood on the wall and items of bedding on the floor. On the next day, a detective observed she had a bloody cut, swelling on her arm, and a swollen lip.
The defendant attacked the victim’s credibility but called no witnesses. He was convicted. On appeal, he argued the prosecutor had made multiple misstatements of law and fact when closing. He objected to statements that weren’t supported by evidence, including a statement that it was clear he knew about the restraining order. The appellate court disagreed with the defendant, stating that the evidence showed he’d repeatedly begged her to modify the restraining order.
The defendant also argued that it was improper for the prosecutor to say he’d gone into the bathroom when the hotel employee had said an unidentified man had gone into the bathroom but hadn’t identified him in particular. The appellate court explained that prosecutors could argue reasonable inferences from favorable evidence. Even if it was an error, it was not prejudicial and didn’t affect the jury’s deliberations significantly. The appellate court ruled against the defendant on other matters because no objection was raised at trial.
The judgments were affirmed.
If you are charged in Massachusetts with an assault crime, contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy today to discuss the criminal charges. Call us at 617-367-0450 or contact us through this website.
More Blog Posts:
Assault and Battery Causing Serious Injury in Massachusetts, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published January 14, 2015
Receiving Stolen Property in Massachusetts, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published December 15, 2014