Article Written by Attorney Patrick Noonan Published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Massachusetts lawyers weekly logoPublic Urination Laws in Massachusetts and Why They Need to be Changed

“Time to get a public urination statute on the books,” an article written by Massachusetts attorney, Patrick Noonan, was recently published by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (Vol. 45, Issue No.: 44, October 31, 2016).  The article discusses the way in which Massachusetts punishes the act of public urination under its Indecent Exposure statute, why this is a problem, and how Massachusetts should punish the act of public urination.

Excerpt:

Let’s say you’re in the middle of a four-hour round of golf. There are no public restrooms, so you go behind a tree to relieve yourself. Another golfer looking for a ball he sliced into the woods happens to see you peeing. Or let’s say you’re on a road trip traveling on the highway when Mother …

Read More at http://masslawyersweekly.com/2016/10/27/time-to-get-a-public-urination-statute-on-the-books/ (subscription required)

Patrick Noonan Defends Man Caught Jogging Without Pants (Fox 25 News Video)

Lawyer says lewd behavior charge is too much for man caught without pants

by: Robert Goulston Updated: Jun 7, 2016 – 7:25 PM


Also in the news about this case:

Is public nudity lewd is no one sees it? Hingham judge says no 

August 2, 2016 by Neal Simpson, The Patriot Ledger via The Enterprise.

Excerpt:  “The law requires that the person expose himself to a person – that there be a person present to see it,” Noonan told the Ledger. “What we have here is an inanimate object – a camera – and no human being there to see it.”  “Judge Bradley agreed…”  Read Article on the Web


Our Taunton defense attorneys can help you avoid jail time.CASE UPDATE / RESULTS

June 7, 2016
Commonwealth v. Allen Costa
Docket No.: 1658 CR 0507

OPEN & GROSS:  DISMISSED upon MOTION
OPEN & GROSS:  DISMISSED upon MOTION

A woman approached Hanover Police Officers at Forge Pond Park and reported two incidents where she observed a man walking on the trail and the man was naked from the waist down. The woman provided police with a physical description of the male suspect. The police placed a trail camera in the area where the witness reported seeing the male naked from the waist down. According to the police report, the camera showed a male party (matching the witness’s description) walking on the trail wearing no pants on two separate occasions on 03/28/16 and 03/30/16. Subsequently, police conducted a stakeout where they hid in the woods in the area where the male party was seen walking naked from the waist down. According to the police report, one officer observed a male party (later identified as the defendant) walking on the trail wearing no pants or underwear with his penis and testicles completely exposed and the male suspect was swinging his penis side to side with his right hand. The officers emerged from the woods and arrested the Defendant at gun point. At the police station, officers showed the defendant two pictures from the trail camera and the defendant acknowledged that he was the person depicted in the photos. The police charged the defendant with 3 counts of Open and Gross Lewdness. Two of the charges stemmed from the two separate occasions where the trail camera showed the defendant naked from the waist down on 03/28/16 and 03/30/16.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan filed a Motion to Dismiss the two counts that were based on the camera footage of 03/28/16 and 03/30/16. Attorney Noonan argued that the offense of Open and Gross Lewdness requires that the defendant “expose his genitals to one or more persons” and the law requires that the illegal conduct occur “in the presence of another person.” Attorney Noonan argued that the two charges should be dismissed because there were no human being(s) present to observe the illegal conduct. Attorney Noonan argued that the only witness to the alleged offenses on 03/28/16 and 03/30/16 was the trail camera (an inanimate object) and not a human being. The Judge agreed with Attorney Noonan’s argument and dismissed the two counts that were based on the camera footage.

Save

Save

Attorney Patrick Noonan Helps College Student in High Profile Case Involving Young Girl Being Pushed Off Rooftop

About Our Clients’ Case

October 13, 2015
Commonwealth v. W.A.
Brockton District Court

KEEPING NOISY & DISORDERLY HOME: DISMISSED ON 05/16/16

Client, a 23-year-old senior college student, was charged with Keeping a Noisy and Disorderly Home in connection with an off-campus party in which more than 200 students attended. Police received noise complaints due to the loud noise from the party – as there was a DJ blasting music in the backyard. When police arrived, they observed a female dancing on the roof of the garage. Many of the party-goers were yelling for her to “jump.” Seconds later, a male student pushed the female off the roof and into the crowd. Police arrested the man who pushed the female off the roof. The incident of the male pushing the female student off the roof was captured on film. The case involving the male student pushing the female off the roof received a lot of publicity.
Our client was one of three college students that were named on the lease. My client had no criminal record. He was a standout wrestler in high school and college. He is expected to graduate with a degree in Physical Education and Coaching. Our client had never been arrested and never been involved with any problems in school. After the incident, he made plans to move out of the house to avoid any potential issues arising in the future.

Result: At a clerk’s hearing, Attorney Patrick J. Noonan persuaded the police prosecutor and the clerk-magistrate to hold the case open until his client graduates in the spring. Client does not have any criminal and will continue to have no criminal record, so long as he stays out of trouble until the spring. Client intends to become a wrestling coach.

News Related to this Case


Bridgewater student accused of pushing woman off roof during party. Fox (Boston), by August 31, 2015.  ExcerptBRIDGEWATER – (MyFoxBoston.com) – A woman is recovering after she was thrown off the roof during an off-campus house party at Bridgewater State College. Bridgewater Police said they were called to a home on Burrill Avenue just after midnight and found more than 200 people outside of the home partying. They said they saw a female dancing on the roof, then moments later a man walked up and pushed her off.


Woman pushed from roof during off-campus party at Bridgewater State University. By Alysha Palumbo and Marc Fortier, August 31, 2015. Excerpt: Police have arrested a Bridgewater State University student accused of pushing a female student off a roof during an off-campus party.  Bridgewater Police said Alexander Marquez, 20, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was arrested at 12:36 a.m. on Monday after officers observed him pushing the woman off the roof onto a crowd of 200-plus students.

Woman pushed off roof in Bridgewater; man arrested. Channel 7 News, by Nicole Oliverio and Susan Tran, August 31, 2015. Excerpt: BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (WHDH) –Bridgewater Police arrested a man after they say he pushed a woman off a roof during a party near the campus of Bridgewater State University. Police were already at the scene to break up an off-campus party that more than 200 people had gathered at Sunday night. Students moved back into the school over the weekend.


Man charged with pushing woman off garage at Bridgewater State party.   Boston Globe, by Felicia Gans, August 31, 2015.  ExcerptA Bridgewater State University junior was being held on $5,000 cash bail Monday after he was charged with pushing another student from the roof of a garage at a house party early Monday.  Bridgewater police were already at the home on Burrill Avenue, called to respond to a disturbance just after midnight, authorities said, when 20-year-old Alexander Marquez allegedly came up behind the woman and pushed her off the roof into a crowd of partygoers, who had been yelling at the woman to “jump.”


Video shows man shoving woman off roof at Bridgewater partyPix11.com, by Jeremy Tanner, September 1, 2015.  ExcerptBRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Cellphones came out when a woman climbed onto a roof at a party Sunday night in Bridgeport, Massachusetts — and now prosecutors are using that footage after a man allegedly pushed the woman off as cameras recorded.


More Related News

Audit: Youth ‘felt very safe’ at Casa Isla, days before shutdown amid allegations of abuse

By Shira Schoenberg
August 4, 2015

Note:  This article was originally published on MassLive.com

5 Men standing in court accused of assault
Five of the men accused of abusing juveniles at a state-run facility stand for their arraignments at Suffolk County Superior court on July 22, 2015. (SHIRA SCHOENBERG / THE REPUBLICAN)

BOSTON – On Aug. 21, 2014, an auditor who was trained in monitoring prisons to ensure that they complied with anti-sexual assault policies conducted an audit of a Boston juvenile detention facility.

Auditor Kurt Pfisterer interviewed four boys in the facility, called Casa Isla, spoke to staff members and toured the place.

“All youth knew multiple ways to report abuse and felt very confident that any complaint they made would be properly addressed,” Pfisterer, an independent auditor certified by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, concluded in the audit. “None of the youth reported ever having fear for their safety while at the facility.” He wrote that the youth “felt very safe.”

By the end of that month, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services had shut Casa Isla down amid reports of physical abuse. Last month, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office charged eight Casa Isla employees with assaulting adolescent boys at the facility. All have pleaded not guilty. The audit, which The Republican/MassLive.com obtained through a records request to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, could play a role in the court case.

Pfisterer said in an interview that there is an important distinction between sexual abuse, which was the subject of the audit, and physical abuse.

The facility was run by Volunteers of America through a contract with the state. According to prosecutors, staff members would pull down the pants of residents and hit them on their naked backsides with an orange, state-issued sandal, a ritual referred to as “orange chicken.” Residents were threatened with physical harm if they told anyone about the assaults.

The audit, required once every three years by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), was meant to ensure that the facility complied with federal standards on sexual assault.

Pfisterer is not allowed to comment on a specific audit he conducted. But, Pfisterer said, “Physical abuse is not necessarily sexual abuse….Physical abuse, if it doesn’t fall within the Department of Justice’s standard related to sexual violence, is not within the scope of the audit.”

The federal standards do prohibit intentional touching of the buttocks. But Pfisterer said anything the state knew about and disclosed at the time did not fall under the sexual abuse standards.

“There could be activity someone at the facility does that while it’s dead wrong, that should not happen to anybody’s child, that doesn’t fall under the standards,” Pfisterer said. “(The audit is) strictly related to sexual violence… The inappropriate use of physical force doesn’t fit.”

In a statement immediately after the criminal charges were filed, a spokesman for Volunteers of America pointed to the audit as an indication that the facility was in full compliance in areas related to safety protocols and security cameras.

Renee Nadeau Algarin, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors are aware of the audit, which was conducted as the Suffolk County District Attorney’s investigation was in its early stages.

“The investigation remains open and ongoing, and as such I am necessarily limited in what can be said about the evidence,” Algarin said. “However, in every case that we bring charges, we’re acting in good faith and in keeping with our ethical obligations as prosecutors. Here, the indictments brought against these eight defendants are consistent with the evidence collected over the course of nearly a year and speak to the seriousness of the defendants’ alleged acts.”

Michael Doolin, an attorney for former Casa Isla staffer Ainsley Laroche, who was charged in the assaults, said the audit is “very positive for our case.”

“It’s my position that my client didn’t assault anybody, and that he’s in fact not guilty of these charges. This type of evidence would certainly bolster that claim,” Doolin said. Doolin had not seen the audit, since defense lawyers have not yet been given discovery material from prosecutors.

Patrick Noonan, an attorney for Casa Isla supervisor Jalise Andrade, who was also charged, said he has not received documents from the prosecution, so he could not comment on the specific audit. “It’s a little premature for me to comment on any materials, because I haven’t been provided with any,” Noonan said. But Noonan called the audits generally “extremely relevant.”

Like Doolin, Noonan declined to comment on whether he believes abuse occurred at the facility. He said his client, who worked there for four years, was not involved in any abuse. “He did not abuse any of the youths there,” Noonan said. “We are very eager to review all these materials to prove that my client did not do anything wrong.”

The PREA audit found that there was one allegation of sexually inappropriate behavior by staff in the past year, and the involved staff members were suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. Overall, it found that the facility met or exceeded every standard related to preventing sexual assault.

Pfisterer said compliance does not mean there will never be a case of sexual assault, but it means the facility will respond appropriately under federal law.

“It’s not a guarantee that everybody’s fine. It’s a statement that the facility has the policies in place to comply with the federal standards,” Pfisterer said.

Pfisterer stressed that Massachusetts is unique, as the only state that pays for audits of facilities run by contracted vendors, rather than making the vendor pay. He said Massachusetts provides training and support to vendors. “The state of Massachusetts has gone way beyond what the rest of the country does,” Pfisterer said. “Massachusetts is the only state I’ve ever come across where state government is paying for private contracted providers to conduct these audits. To me, that’s a huge commitment to how important compliance is to Massachusetts…and how important it is that the kids that they’re responsible for are safe.”

Other more general reviews of Casa Isla, which occurred before the period of the alleged assaults, identified generally minor problems, but some that could come up in this case, particularly problems with surveillance video equipment and training.

Noonan said he anticipates receiving an extensive amount of video footage from prosecutors.

A March 2014 review of Casa Isla by the Department of Youth Services found that the program appeared to be running well. But the review did find that surveillance video equipment was malfunctioning, so monitors could not review footage from earlier dates. According to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, nine additional video cameras were installed in July 2014.

Prosecutors allege that the abuse occurred between April and August 2014.

The PREA audit found that video surveillance covered 90 percent of program areas. The audit found that with high levels of staffing, “excellent supervision practices fully mitigate any concerns regarding blind spots.”

Otherwise, the general audit identified mostly small problems, such as with documentation practices. It did say that some staffers still needed to attend required trainings, such as suicide prevention training – something that had been identified as a problem consistently since 2010. It found that concern by a staff member about security in a classroom area was unfounded

Monitoring visits in prior years also identified mostly small problems not directly related to physical safety – things like juveniles listening to inappropriate music or keeping open soda containers in their rooms.

Asked about the audits, Rhonda Mann, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, said, “DYS takes all allegations of abuse seriously and is fully cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation into this matter. In response to this situation DYS has, and will continue to, increase its monitoring visits and program reviews to ensure that we are providing quality services, and that youth are being treated in a safe and respectful manner.”

© 2015 MassLive LLC. All rights reserved.

Prosecutor: Boys hit on naked backsides in ‘orange chicken’ abuse at Massachusetts state-run facility

5 Men standing in court accused of assault
Five of the men accused of abusing juveniles at a state-run facility stand for their arraignments at Suffolk County Superior court on July 22, 2015. (SHIRA SCHOENBERG / THE REPUBLICAN)

By Shira Schoenberg
July 22, 2015

Note:  This article was originally published on Masslive.com

BOSTON — In ritualized physical abuse that the staff referred to as “orange chicken,” prosecutors say staff members at a state-run facility for adolescent boys would pull down the pants of residents and hit them on their naked backsides with an orange, state-issued sandal.

“Residents would receive ‘orange chicken’ for anything from misbehavior, returning to the program after being discharged, and the night before being discharged from the program as a reminder not to return,” said Gloriann Moroney, a Suffolk County prosecutor.

Seven former employees of Casa Isla, a 15-bed Department of Youth Services facility for boys committed by the juvenile courts, were arraigned in Suffolk County Superior Court on Wednesday for allegedly assaulting facility residents.

The facility has since been closed.

“We are deeply troubled by this incident,” said Rhonda Mann, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. “(Department of Youth Services) is committed to ensuring a safe, respectful environment for youth in its custody.”

The workers accused of the abuse are: Silvio Depina, Ainsley Laroche, Hermano Joseph, Jalise Andrade, Raymond Pizzaro, Joseph Cintolo, Wilkins Jeanty and Emmanuel Fedna.

According to prosecutors, staff members would enlist residents to participate in the assaults on other residents. The juveniles were told that if they did not participate, they too would receive “orange chicken.” There were other assaults that were not part of the ritual.

“Almost all the victims and witnesses disclosed being threatened by physical harm if they informed anyone about the assaults taking place,” Moroney said. She said several residents were told that staff at Casa Isla knew staff in other facilities, and they would face additional harm if they left the facility.

All of the staff members other than Fedna pleaded not guilty and, through their attorneys, denied the charges. Fedna will be arraigned on Thursday.

Gerald Noonan, an attorney for Andrade, said in court that his client “vehemently denies” the allegations, a sentiment echoed by the other attorneys.

Michael Doolin, an attorney for Laroche, said after the arraignment that the charges did not involve Laroche, who had no knowledge of any abuse. “He was not involved in any of these charges,” Doolin said. He said Laroche “looks forward to his day in court,” where he anticipates being acquitted.

After the arraignments, several of the men declined to speak to the press.

For 20 years, the state had a contract with Volunteers of America to run Casa Isla, a facility for short-term stays located on Long Island in Boston.

Stephanie Paauwe, a spokeswoman for Volunteers of America Massachusetts, said the organization is cooperating with investigators and has turned over 2,300 hours of security camera footage. “Casa Isla had a very strong system in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the young men in our care, and was led by numerous licensed and experienced professionals,” Paauwe said in a statement.

Just before the time the allegations were made, Paauwe said the Department of Youth Services conducted a regular review of the program, including the oversight of residents, safety protocols, monitoring, security cameras and reporting systems, and found it to be in full compliance.

“It is hard for us to imagine that this could have been occurring given the rigorous oversight by experienced and dedicated caregivers at Casa Isla,” Paauwe said. “But it is our collective duty to find out what happened and we hope that every step will be taken to ascertain the truth in this matter.”

According to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Youth Services received a verbal report of physical abuse at the facility in August 2014.

The department removed all youth from the program, terminated the contract with Volunteers of America, notified law enforcement and filed a report alleging abuse with the Department of Children and Families and Office of the Child Advocate.

WBUR first reported in April that Casa Isla closed in August 2014 amid allegations of mistreatment.

Two Department of Youth Services workers worked part-time for the program and have been fired, according to Mann.

Mann said the state provided counseling and support to youth who were victims or witnesses to the abuse.

Mann said the state conducts regular, unannounced visits to all of its facilities. “In response to this situation, DYS has increased its monitoring visits and program reviews to ensure that we are providing quality services, and that youth are being treated in a safe and respectful manner,” Mann said.

All of the defendants were charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Depina, Laroche, Joseph and Andrade were charged with intimidating a witness and threatening to commit a crime. Depina and Joseph were also charged with indecent assault and battery of a person 14 or over, and assault and battery. There were multiple counts of several of the crimes, likely indicating multiple victims. Moroney said there were “many” instances of physical abuse.

Moroney said in court that the investigation involving the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, the state police and the Department of Youth Services has been ongoing since August 2014.

The defendants were all released on personal recognizance bail. They must stay away from Department of Youth Services facilities and current and former residents and they will not be allowed to have unsupervised contact with children other than their own.

Overall, the Department of Youth Services operates 58 residential programs for detained and committed youth, of which 19 are operated by the agency and 39 are operated by non-profit providers. Casa Isla was founded in 1991 and oversaw care of approximately 100 adolescents a year.

This story was updated to add information about Fedna.

© 2015 masslive.com. All rights reserved.

Jury to begin deliberations in Brockton shooting trial

By Phyllis J. Silva
Enterprise Staff Wrtier

(1993) BROCKTON – Jury deliberations were scheduled to begin today in Brockton Superior Court in the trial of three men accused of shooting a city man outside a Cour Street market two years ago.

On trial are Dieudel Charles 20, of Dorchester, Monsalvey Charles Charles, 23, and Frantzy E. Therilus Jr., 24, both of Brockton.

They are being tried under the theory of joint venture, meaning that they all knowingly participated in alleged attempted robbery and shooting of the 23-year-old Jean Jusme on May 7, 1993.

 

ury to Begin Deliberations in Brockton Shooting Trial

Save

Charging drug dealers with OD deaths difficult, not impossible

By Benjamin Paulin
May 17, 2015

Note:  This article was originally published on PatriotLedger.com

Brockton Superior Court. Photo: Mass.Gov®
Brockton Superior Court. Photo: Mass.Gov®

WAREHAM – Last week, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz’s office announced they had charged an alleged drug dealer in the heroin overdose death of a 25-year-old Wareham woman.

It was the first time that prosecutors in Plymouth County have aimed to hold such a person accountable for the overdose death of one of his customers.

Because of the difficulty of tying the heroin that killed an overdose victim to the dealer who sold the fatal drug, the charge is rare in such a case.

And it’s not the only obstacle prosecutors face.

Steven Foss, 33, of Wareham was arraigned in Brockton Superior Court Tuesday May 5, on a charge of manslaughter, among other charges, after allegedly selling heroin that killed 25-year-old Paige Lopes of Wareham.

State Police Col. Timothy Alben believes that charging dealers with such a serious offense as manslaughter may make some dealers think twice about selling the drug and could stem the epidemic of fatal heroin overdoses.

“We’re losing 75 to 100 people a month right now to these overdoses,” Alben said State Police Colonel Timothy Alben. “It’s in every suburban and urban community. It’s across the board.

“If you’re in this business of selling drugs I think you should be held accountable for killing people,” Alben said.

Cruz agrees.

“Substance abuse issues are haunting our neighborhoods,” Cruz said. “We need to fight this problem on all levels in order to send a strong message and take back our communities.”

For law enforcement officials, charging a dealer with manslaughter isn’t an easy task, but it’s not impossible, Alben said.

“One of the difficulties is making a connection from what the victim ingested into their body and making a direct connection to the drug dealer,” Alben said. “It can become very complex. You really depend upon friends, family, acquaintances telling us what they know and trying to tie it back to who sold it to them.”

Another hurdle, Alben said, is the nature of drug dealing and drug abuse.

“There’s no regulation. It’s not like you’re going into CVS and you have a receipt for it,” Alben said.

Another contention is that drug use is something a person decides to do themselves.

“Drug use is generally a voluntary act,” said Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark. “What about tobacco? Do you go to the convenience store that sold the cigarettes? What about the person that shipped them? What about the person that manufactured them?”

To charge a person with manslaughter, prosecutors need to prove the conduct was “wanton and reckless.”

“You don’t intend to kill the person but your conduct is so reckless that it causes the death of somebody else,” said Brockton defense attorney Patrick Noonan.

Noonan said if he was a defending a client in such a case, he would hold the prosecution to the burden of proof that the conduct was in fact “wanton and reckless.”

There have been two such cases out of Norfolk County, both of which had led to guilty pleas.

In June 2002, Richard Spinale of Walpole was given a three-year state prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the overdose death of his friend, 25-year-old Brian Shiner.

In 2004, Christine Callahan of Weymouth pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of an inmate at the Norfolk County jail, where Callahan was a guard. Callahan smuggled the drugs to 34-year-old Anthony Marchetti of East Bridgewater, who overdosed and died in 2002. She was sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Last month, Easton police said they may be seeking a manslaughter charge against Kevin Cotter, 27, of Easton after he allegedly sold heroin to a Stoughton man who died from an overdose a short time later.

Alben hopes to see more cases in future.

“In my view, it certainly should happen more,” Alben said.

© Copyright 2006-2015 Gatehouse Media, Inc. Some rights reserved.  Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.

East Bridgewater man found not guilty in Bridgewater rape case

By Benjamin Paulin
April 17, 2015

Note:  This article was originally published on EnterpriseNews.com

Brockton Superior Court. Photo: Mass.Gov®
Brockton Superior Court. Photo: Mass.Gov®

BROCKTON – An East Bridgewater man was acquitted of rape charges by a jury in Brockton Superior Court earlier this week.

Bryan Souza, 26, was found not guilty on Wednesday of rape and indecent assault and battery.

In January 2011, a woman Souza was dating alleged that he raped her while inside his Bridgewater apartment, Souza’s attorney Patrick Noonan said.

Noonan and his father, attorney Gerald Noonan, argued that the two had consensual sex.

Two witnesses testified that they slept on a futon that was a few feet away from Souza’s bed the night the alleged sexual assault was said to have taken place.

“Both defense witnesses testified that they did not hear or see anything while they were sleeping on the futon,” Patrick Noonan said.

The alleged victim had several inconsistencies and contradictions in statements made to police, a grand jury and at trial, Patrick Noonan said.

A jury deliberated for less than an hour on Wednesday and found Souza not guilty on all charges.

“We are disappointed in the result but we respect the jury’s decision,” Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Russ Eonas said.

Benjamin Paulin may be reached at bpaulin@enterprisenews.com.

© Copyright 2006-2015 Gatehouse Media, Inc. Some rights reserved.  Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.

Trial opens in Brockton for ex-firefighter charged with assaulting late wife

By Benjamin Paoulin
March 18, 2015

Note:  This article was originally published on EnterpriseNews.com

Defense Attorney Patrick J. Noonan showing a knife in evidence.
On Left: Defense attorney Patrick J. Noonan. The trial for a former Boston firefighter accused of assaulting his wife began Tuesday in Brockton Superior Court. Richard R. Parker, who worked for the Boston Fire Department for nearly 26 years and was also a 9/11 responder, faces a charge of assault to murder amid others against his wife, Kimberly Boleza Parker, from an alleged incident in 2011. Parker died March 10, 2013 of causes that have not yet been determined.  Photo: Marc Vasconcellos/The Enterprise

BROCKTON – Stephanie Deeley still has the last voicemail her sister Kimberly Parker left on her cell phone from the day she died in 2013.

The message is Parker thanking Deeley for organizing a family event the night before. Every so often, Deeley listens to the recording just to hear her sister’s voice.

On Wednesday, Deeley listened to her sister’s voice again. The recording was of a frantic 911 call that Parker made on Dec. 18, 2011 just after 5 a.m.

“My husband is trying to kill me,” Parker yelled over the phone. “He’s got knives all over the house he just keeps throwing.”

Parker’s husband Richard R. Parker went on trial in Brockton Superior Court Wednesday, facing charges of assault to murder, kidnapping, assault and battery with dangerous weapon, threat to commit a crime and intimidation of a witness, as a result of the incident. Richard Parker worked for the Boston Fire Department for nearly 26 years and was also a 9-11 responder.

“Any time I hear her voice it’s difficult, but to hear her so terrified, it’s just heart-wrenching to listen to knowing what she went through that night,” Deeley said.

For Deeley’s family, the trial is another part of a long, painful road they have traveled in recent years, accentuated by Kimberly’s mysterious death at the age of 45 on March 10, 2013.

After 17 months of waiting for her sister’s autopsy results, Deeley said they were told last August that her cause of death was officially considered “undetermined.”

Also, Deeley said Richard Parker has not given anyone on Kimberly’s side of the family access to any of her belongings, including her cremated remains.

“He (Richard Parker) told us that we could all have some memory, some memorabilia, something of Kim’s. But we never even got to do that,” Deeley said.

When officers arrived at the Parker house at 3 Satucket Ave., in East Bridgewater in December 2011, they found Kimberly Parker 200 yards down the street in the woods with her two dogs. A police officer had stayed on the phone with her until officers arrived.

East Bridgewater Police Officer Joel Silva found Richard Parker in the woods 50 feet behind his house lying on the ground.

The inside of the house was in shambles. On a bedroom door there were several stab marks believed to be made from knives. Inside the disheveled bedroom a wall had multiple stab marks and slash marks and holes.

“There were items strewn all over the place. Broken glass. Things not in the right place,” East Bridgewater Police Officer Peter Bellmore said during testimony Wednesday.

Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Healy entered two knives, a large kitchen knife and a military-style knife, as evidence.

Richard Parker’s attorney Patrick Noonan noted during the testimony Wednesday that Kimberly Parker was not injured and did not appear to have any cuts or bruises. Bellmore said she declined to go in an ambulance to the hospital following the incident.

Attorney Gerald Noonan told the jury that Richard Parker never threw a knife at his wife, never touched her with a knife and never put his hands on her during the incident.

For Deeley, they are hoping the trial brings closure on the incident.

“We’re in court for events that happened 39 months ago and we’ve gone through a very long process to get here. There’s some semblance that we’re finally going to get some closure on this issue,” Deeley said. “I just want Kim to be vindicated. What she said happened that night is in fact what happened.”

“She hasn’t been able to say ‘I don’t agree’ or ‘This is what happened and I’m telling the truth.’ She’s only able to speak through us. So we just want her story, her side to be told and we want people to recognize that she didn’t make this up,” Deeley said. “She went through an awful experience that night and she has a right to expect justice from that.”

The jury will continue Thursday in Brockton Court.

Benjamin Paulin may be reached at bpaulin@enterprisenews.com.

© Copyright 2006-2015 Gatehouse Media, Inc. Some rights reserved.  Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.

Jury deliberations begin in Brockton murder case

October 22, 2014

Note:  This article was originally published on EnterpriseNews.com

Brockton Superior Court. Photo: Mass.Gov®
Brockton Superior Court. Photo: Mass.Gov®

BROCKTON – A jury was unable to come to a verdict Wednesday in a Brockton murder trial where a man is accused of killing a witness in 2010 who was going to testify in another murder trial.

Joao Fernandes is facing murder and several gun charges after police said he and Michael Goncalves killed Manuel Rodrigues the day before he was set to testify in the murder trial of a Brockton man.The case in being tried in Brockton Superior Court.

Rodrigues, 32, was shot six times on Feb. 17, 2010, as he stood on the porch of his girlfriend’s home on Nilsson Street in Brockton while leaving to go to work.Rodrigues, who drove a van carrying workers to job sites, witnessed the murder of Moises Vicente and testified willingly before a grand jury hearing evidence against the murder suspect, Michael Barros. Barros was convicted of first-degree murder in February and sentenced to life in prison.

Rodrigues was killed in retaliation for his cooperation with police, authorities said, by Fernandes and Goncalves, who were friends of Barros. Goncalves will be tried separately at an undetermined date once the Fernandes trial is over.

Fernandes’ attorney Daniel Solomon rested his case Wednesday morning. Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton rested his case Tuesday.

Both attorneys gave their closing arguments Wednesday and the jury began their deliberations.

The jury will continue to deliberate this morning.

Benjamin Paulin may be reached at bpaulin@enterprisenews.com.

© Copyright 2006-2015 Gatehouse Media, Inc. Some rights reserved.  Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.