CONVICTION FOR BEING A FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM UPHELD DESPITE MIRANDA AND EVIDENTIARY ISSUES

Eric Murdock was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced to 216 months in prison under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). He had three predicate offenses subjecting him to the 15 year minimum sentence of the ACCA. He was released on bail in an unrelated case with the conditions that he not possess any weapons and that he submit his residence to search and seizure. Shortly after he was released a Bureau of Alcohol, […] Read more »

COURT DENIES SUPPRESSION OF GUN AND SHELLS

Police Officers Derek Sullivan and Emmett Macken observed a small group of men outside a rooming house in Manchester, New Hampshire known for drug activity. It appeared as if a drug deal was in progress. The officers followed two of the men, Joshua Lacy and Bryan Bleau to a parking lot behind the residence. Bleau and Lacy were joined by a third man. A black Honda arrived and Bleau got in the passenger side. The car drove away. After a […] Read more »

FIRST CIRCUIT REVERSES CONVICTION FOR AIMING LASER AT HELICOPTER

Gerard Sasso was charged with interfering with the operation of an aircraft with reckless disregard for human life and with making a false statement to a law enforcement officer in the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He aimed a laser beam at a helicopter which was escorting a liquefied natural gas tanker as it traversed Boston Harbor. One of the Massachusetts State police troopers in the helicopter noticed the green light from the laser and warned the […] Read more »

FIRST CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS UPHOLDS CONVICTION OF PEDOPHILIAC

Eduardo Dávila-Nieves (Dávila) was convicted attempting “to induce a person he believed to be a minor to engage in sexual activity.” He made telephone contact with a thirteen year old girl, Y. G. Eventually their telephone conversations turned to sex. He attempted to meet her but her parents found out about the conversation and reported the conversations to the authorities. After this happened Y.G. told Davila that her parents took away her cell phone and that in the future he […] Read more »

THE FIRST CIRCUIT UPHOLDS CONVICTION FOR AIDING AND ABETTING THEFT OF THE DEFENDANT’S OWN IDENTITY

The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Thomas Kasenge for aiding and abetting the theft of his own identity. Kasenge’s housemate, Pius Mayanja visa expired and he was living in this country without proper immigration documentation. As a result he was unable to find work. Kasenger allowed Mayanja to use his driver’s license and social security card in exchange for a small fee. Kasenge was charged with aggravated identity theft. He argued that he could not be […] Read more »

COURT VOIDS CONVICTION FOR FAILURE TO GIVE MIRANDA RIGHTS

Brian Rogers, a non-commissioned Naval officer at the Brunswick Naval Air Station, sold a computer he no longer needed. But he failed to remove the child porn from it. The buyer reported the pornography to the local police who initiated an investigation. To assist they brought in the state computer crimes unit and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). A search warrant was obtained for Roger’s house and plans were made to serve it while he was on the base. […] Read more »

LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE CONVICTION REVERSED

José A. García-Ortiz was convicted on three counts: Hobbs Act robbery; aiding and abetting the unlawful carrying and use of a firearm during and in relation to the robbery, and aiding and abetting the death of an accomplice in the commission of an armed robbery. He raised a number of issues on appeal, the most important of which was that convicting him of both using a gun in the commission of an armed robbery and aiding and abetting the death […] Read more »

FIRST CIRCUIT UPHOLDS SEARCH OF VEHICLE ON OFFICER SAFETY GROUNDS

After a gang shooting, officers staked out the hospital where the victim was dying. They observed a car with four people, at least three of whom they recognized as members of the gang. Fearing that the passengers in the car might try to get revenge for the shooting, they followed the vehicle. Together with another police car they pulled over the gang members for speeding. The men in the car were noticably nervous. They were breathing heavily. The officers ordered […] Read more »

COURT VACATES CONVICTION FOR LACK OF EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON FOURTH AMENDMENT ISSUES

Under Federal law it is not necessary to hold a hearing on motions to suppress evidence unless their is a factual dispute that can not be settled without a hearing. In U.S. v. D’Andrea the First Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a conviction and remanded the case to the trial court for the court’s denial of a motion to suppress without a hearing. Kendra D’Andrea and Willie Jordan were charged with child abuse. D’Andrea accidentally sent photographs showing sexual abuse […] Read more »

FIRST CIRCUIT UPHOLDS STATUTE BANNING POSSESSION OF GUNS BY THOSE CONVICTED OF MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Russell E. Booker and Michael Wyman plead guilty in separate domestic violence cases to assault in Maine. Both cases occurred some years ago. More recently Booker accidentally shot a hunting partner and Wyman shot a bullet into the air during a domestic dispute. Both were indicted and convicted in Federal court for possessing a weapon after a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. Booker and Wyman appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals alleging that since Maine’s assault law does not […] Read more »