Commonwealth v. Wright

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557- 1030; SJC-11950 COMMONWEALTH vs. JOSEPH WRIGHT. Essex. November 10, 2017. - March 15, 2018. Present: Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ. Homicide. Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement. Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Expert opinion, Exculpatory, Intoxication. Mental Impairment. Intoxication. Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Discovery, Assistance of counsel, Preservation of evidence. Witness, Expert. Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 28, 2012. A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J., and the cases were tried before Howard J. Whitehead, J. David H. Mirsky (Joanne T. Petito also present) for the defendant. Marcia H. Slingerland, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. CYPHER, J. The defendant, Joseph Wright, appeals from two convictions of murder in the first degree. He urges the 2 reversal of his convictions on four grounds. First, he contends that the pretrial motion judge erroneously denied his motion to suppress statements he made to Canadian law enforcement officers. Second, he argues that the trial judge committed a reversible error in ordering the pretrial disclosure of the defendant's mental health expert's report regarding the defendant's mental condition at the time of the crimes, which the prosecution had in its possession during its subsequent cross-examination of the defendant. Third, the defendant argues that the evidence at trial demonstrates his lack of criminal responsibility for the murders, and relatedly, that his trial counsel's failure to argue a lack of criminal responsibility defense before the jury constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel. Fourth, he argues that State police investigators failed to collect certain evidence relevant to his intoxication at the time of the crimes, thereby denying the defendant his right to a "complete defense." Having considered the defendant's arguments, and, more broadly, "the whole case on the law and the facts" pursuant to our duty under G. L. c. 278, ยง 33E, Commonwealth v. Howard, 469 Mass. 721, 747 (2014), we affirm the convictions. Factual and procedural background. We recite the facts the jury could have found in the light most favorable to the 3 Commonwealth, but we reserve certain details of the facts and proceedings for discussion of the individual issues. The defendant does not dispute that he killed his mother, Donna Breau, and his grandmother, Melba Trahant, at their residence in Lynn on April 30, 2012. Following the killings, the defendant drove to the Canadian border at Belleville, New Brunswick, where he arrived at approximately 6 P.M. on May 1, 2012. After hesitating in responding to questions posed by a Canadian border services officer about his presence in Canada, the defendant fled ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals