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July 27, 2004
Commonwealth v. M.P.L.
Norfolk Superior Court
ATTEMPTED MURDER: NOLLE PROSEQUI
ASSAULT with INTENT TO MURDER: NOLLE PROSEQUI
ASSAULT & BATTERY WITH DANGEROUS WEAPON PROBATION
CARRYING A DANGEROUS WEAPON: PROBATION
ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON: NOLLE PROSEQUI
ASSAULT AND BATTERY: NOLLE PROSEQUI
On July 12, 2003, Massachusetts State Police and Quincy Police were dispatched to a fight in progress involving knives and guns on Quincy Shore Drive in Quincy. Quincy Police immediately called for an ambulance for at least one stabbing victim. The victim had been stabbed in the stomach and stabbed at least six times in the back. Several witness (with identical accounts) told police that they actually witnessed the assault and stabbing. Once witness observed the subject pull out a knife and “flick” it open. The witnesses stated that the victim was walking along the sea wall when a group of black males approached and words were exchanged. Witnesses stated that a tall black male wearing a red t-shirt took something from his pocket, flick it open, and quickly advanced on the victim. This black male had the victim in a “bear hug” over the sea wall and the witnesses observed the black male stabbing the victim in the back and they could clearly see the handle of the knife. The victim yelled that he had been stabbed. Two other black males (one wearing a Rams football jersey and the other wearing a blue shirt and a black cap) held back the victim’s friends allowing the suspect to flee the scene. The three black males were detained at the Clam Shop. All seven witnesses provided written statements. The victim told police that the tall black male in the red t-shirt stabbed him several times in the back and once in the stomach. Police spoke with Attorney Gerald J. Noonan’s client at the Clam Shop. The client was described as a black male, tall, wearing a red t-shirt, and he had been covered with blood and police recovered a knife on his person. The second black party had a silver box-cutter and a bottle of Brandy on his person. The third black male also had a bottle of Brandy on his person. Photographs were taken of all three black suspects. In addition, the victim’s friends identified the Defendant as the party stabbing the victim and fleeing the scene. The victim identified the Defendant as the person who stabbed him. The victim testified before the Grand Jury that the Defendant stabbed him once in the stomach and six times in the back. Before the Grand Jury, the victim lifted his shirt and showed the jurors one stab wound to the stomach and six stab wounds to his back. The District Attorney was requesting that the Defendant serve a minimum of two years in prison.
Attorney Gerald J. Noonan retained a medical doctor to review the victim’s medical records. The medical doctor noted that there was no mention in the medical records as to the depth of the wounds sustained by the victim. Based upon his review of the medical records, the doctor found that the wounds did not penetrate any further than skin level. The doctor found that the wounds were superficial in nature and not viewed as serious by the medical staff. The victim was discharged from the hospital within 12 hours of admission showing that the medical staff was not concerned of the chance of any underlying serious injury. The doctor reviewed photographs of the injuries and described the wounds as “scratches.” The doctor opined that the victim’s injuries were actually consistent with the Defendant using the knife in self-defense against a violent aggressor. In addition, the doctor observed that the toxicology tests of the victim showed an elevated alcohol level. A copy of the medical doctor’s written report of his review of the victim’s medical records was provided to the Commonwealth.
Attorney Gerald J. Noonan retained a private investigator to interview a member of the Defendant’s party that was involved in the incident. This witness stated his party and the alleged victim’s party passed each other on the sea wall. This witness stated that as the groups passed each other the alleged victim threw his shoulder and hit the witness. The witness was pretty mad and said to the alleged victim, “What’s your fucking problem?” At that point, the alleged victim began swearing, making a scene, and putting his hands up into a fighting position. The witnesses group had already been walking down the sea wall when they heard the alleged victim swearing at the witness and making a scene. They stopped and turned around when they heard the alleged victim swearing at the witness. The witness stated that he smelled alcohol on the victim and thought he was either drunk or on drugs because he was out of control. The witness stated that the victim took off his shirt, threw it on the sidewalk, and was screaming that he wanted to fight. At this point, the Defendant stepped toward the alleged victim. During this time, the alleged victim raised his hands in a fighting position and said “let’s fight” or “let’s get it on.” The witness stated that the Defendant didn’t say a word until the alleged victim said to him, “Niggers want to fight too. I’ll fight all your nigger friends.” At this point, the witness’s group began yelling back at the alleged victim. The alleged victim then called the witness “a nigger lover.” The alleged victim called the Defendant a “nigger,” got in his face, and threw the first punch, swinging at the Defendant. The alleged victim got the Defendant in a headlock and began punching him in the head numerous times. During the fight, the alleged victim placed the Defendant in a chokehold. After the struggle, the witness heard the alleged victim say, “Nigger stabbed me.” The alleged victim then walked away with his friends unassisted and did not appear to be hurt or injured. The Defendant had a gash on his arm from hitting the sea wall during the struggle. As they left and walked away, the witness observed approximately 25-30 kids being led by the alleged victim walking down the sidewalk toward them and the alleged victim was calling them “Niggers.” The alleged victim’s group was armed with weapons, bats, sticks, pipes, 2×4’s, etc. At this point, the Defendant’s group fled. Once the police came, the alleged victim’s group dispersed and ran away. The witness claimed that the alleged victim was the aggressor, he was out of control, he was intoxicated, he was calling everyone “niggers,” he threw the first punch and placed the Defendant in a chokehold and that the Defendant was acting in self-defense. There were also two other female witnesses who could corroborate this version of events.
Result: Attorney Gerald J. Noonan was able to get the District Attorney’s Office to Nolle Pross 4 of the 6 indictments. With respect to Indictment #3, Defendant was found Guilty and sentenced to two years in the house of correction suspended for three years and with respect to Indictment #4 the judge sentenced him to three years straight probation. The Commonwealth was pushing for two years committed time and Attorney Gerald J. Noonan was able to secure a strictly probationary sentence for his client on very serious charges.
February 27, 2004
Commonwealth v. R.M.
Stoughton District Court
STATUTORY RAPE: NOLLE PROSEQUI
STATUTORY RAPE: NOLLE PROSEQUI
On March 16, 2001, the alleged victim #1 came into the Stoughton Police Station and reported that her ex-boyfriend (defendant) had assaulted her several times for not performing oral sex on him and that the Defendant slapped her and she sustained bruises. Alleged victim #1 stated that she had a sexual relationship with the Defendant when she was 14 years-old and he was 17 years-old. She stated that they had sexual intercourse more than five times, she performed oral sex on him, and she described other sexual acts that they engaged in. Alleged victim #1 stated that she reported the abuse because her friend (alleged victim #2) was recently raped by the Defendant.
On April 23, 2001, Stoughton Police interviewed victim #2 who stated that one occasion she was over her girlfriend’s house when the Defendant and his friend came over. She reported that the Defendant got into bed with her and he began to touch her breasts over her t-shirt and she told him not to touch her. She stated that the Defendant put his hand down the front of her pants under her underwear and inserted his fingers into her vagina and she kept telling him to stop it and to get off of her. The Defendant hen pulled her onto her back and pulled down her pants and underwear and he inserted his penis into her vagina for approximately 10 minutes. Victim #2 states that the Defendant took her to his house against her will. At his house, she states that the Defendant forced her to perform oral sex on him and then had vaginal intercourse with her for approximately 10 minutes and he ejaculated on her stomach.
Through pretrial discovery and investigation, Attorney Gerald J. Noonan discovered that the alleged victim had psychological problems and memory loss that seriously undermined her credibility. Attorney Noonan filed Motions demanding that the District Attorney’s Office produce notes taken by the Assistant District Attorney’s and Victim Witness Advocates of their interviews with the alleged victim, as they were exculpatory. The District Attorney’s Office refused to produce their notes. Because of the alleged victim’s psychological problems, she could not recall certain key things due to memory loss. Attorney Noonan convinced the District Attorney’s Office to Nolle Pross the case because they did not have a good faith basis to go forward due to the alleged victim’s psychological issues, her memory loss, and the lateness of her disclosure to police. At the time, Defendant was serving his country in the United States Navy.
At the hearing in which the Commonwealth entered a Nolle Pross, Attorney Noonan demanded that the court enter an order compelling the Commonwealth to preserve all their notes concerning their interviews with the alleged victim, as they were extremely exculpatory. Attorney Noonan wanted to create a record of the alleged victim’s bad credibility in the event that the Commonwealth decided years later to prosecute the case years later. The Court declined the request but Attorney Noonan created a record in open to protect his client’s rights in the event of any future prosecution.
Result: Commonwealth entered a Nolle Prosequi on Statutory Rape charges, which means that the indictment is withdrawn – meaning that if circumstances change, a prosecution could be initiated again.