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The indictments charged that the defendant stole drugs from the State police evidence room and sold them for profit.

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Asserting that the indictments had attracted media attention, the defendant's counsel requested individual voir dire of the prospective jurors. The judge allowed the motion and proposed to conduct the voir dire in two phases: a general questioning of the venire as a group in the court room; and b individual questioning of each prospective juror in the judge's lobby.


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Counsel agreed to this procedure. During the first stage of the empanelment, the judge posed the questions dictated by statute [FN6] and additional case-specific questions [FN7] related to possible bias arising from the defendant's status as a police officer. Members of the venire gave substantive responses to the questions by raising their juror cards.

The court officer then called out the juror numbers, which the clerk recorded for later follow-up during the individual questioning. The general questioning elicited a chorus of affirmative responses to questions related to bias and the willingness to respect the constitutional protections afforded to criminal defendants at trial. The court room was closed for this first phase of the empanelment. Members of the defendant's family attempted to enter the court room but were denied entry by a court officer.

The closure was accomplished in accordance with then-established custom and practice in Norfolk Superior Court when a court room lacked sufficient space to seat all members of the venire. The second phase of the empanelment occurred in the judge's lobby with only the attorneys, the defendant, and the prospective juror present.

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During this phase, the judge questioned each prospective juror individually as to any affirmative answers to the general questions and posed further case-specific questions suggested by the defendant. We review the judge's ruling "only to determine whether there has been a significant error of law or other abuse of discretion. Grace, Mass. Where a defendant's "new trial claim is constitutionally based, this court will exercise its own judgment on the ultimate factual as well as legal conclusions.

Cohen Mass. Tucceri, Mass. See Waller v. Georgia, U. This right extends to the voir dire of prospective jurors. See Presley v. Conceding the closure, the Commonwealth's appeal proceeds solely on its claim that it was de minimis.

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To meet its burden under the de minimis test, the Commonwealth must establish that the closure was so trivial and insignificant that it did not rise to the level of a violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a public trial. Cohen, supra at Relying on Peterson v. Williams, 85 F. Al-Smadi, 15 F. We disagree. Although our appellate cases have recognized the de minimis exception to the general rule that an unjustified closure of the court room violates the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial, [FN13] none has defined its scope.

The duration of the closure is only one factor in an analysis more broadly concerned with "how seriously the values served by the Sixth Amendment were undermined" by the closure. United States v. Gupta, F. Williams, supra at We decline, therefore, to adopt the brevity of the closure, untethered from any consideration of its effect on the Sixth Amendment "value of openness," as the proper measure of a de minimis closure.

Press-Enterprise Co. Superior Ct. Penal Code View the full statute. According to Statute According to Public Act , it is considered aggravated assault and a felony for a person to assault an individual known to be a person authorized to serve process under Section of the Code of Civil Procedure or a special process server appointed by the circuit court while that individual is in the performance of his or her duties as a process server.

Assault and Battery.

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Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon. Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Dismissal, Instructions to jury.

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Probable Cause. Evidence, Joint venturer, Intent. Discussion of jury instructions to be given at the trial of a criminal defendant as a joint venturer for offenses committed by the coventurer while attempting escape. Casey E. Ryan, District Attorney, with her for the Commonwealth.

A grand jury returned twenty-two indictments against the defendant, Scott Hanright, including indictments charging murder in the first degree and various counts of masked armed robbery. The charges arose out of a robbery, perpetrated by Domenic Cinelli, of a jewelry counter at a department store in Woburn on December 26, , and from other offenses Cinelli committed while attempting escape, including shooting a police officer to death.

The Commonwealth is proceeding against the defendant as a joint venturer and coconspirator. In relevant part, [Note 1] the defendant moved to dismiss indictments relating to Cinelli's offenses committed outside the department store as Cinelli tried to flee the scene of the armed robbery on the ground that the charges were not supported by sufficient evidence.

McCarthy, Mass. These charges include: 1 assault and battery with a deadly weapon against a person over sixty years or older against Officer John Maguire, G.

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In addition, the defendant moved to dismiss so much of the indictment alleging the murder of Maguire as included any theory of murder other than felony-murder. The motion judge allowed the portion of the defendant's motion that sought dismissal of the listed charges and so much of the murder indictment as included theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty because the judge determined that the. Commonwealth presented no evidence that the defendant either participated in or intended any of the events after Cinelli left the department store following the robbery.

See Commonwealth v. McCarthy, supra. The Commonwealth appealed, and we transferred the case to this court on our own motion. We reverse the portion of the motion judge's decision that dismissed the challenged indictments and precluded the Commonwealth from proceeding at trial on all three theories of murder. We recount the evidence presented to the grand jury in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth.

Walczak, Mass. The defendant lived with his grandmother and met Cinelli, whom the defendant knew to have been imprisoned for over three decades for robbing jewelry stores, when Cinelli became romantically involved with the defendant's grandmother. The defendant, aged nineteen at the time, did not own an automobile and did not drive, and Cinelli began driving the defendant to work.

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Approximately one month before the robbery, Cinelli mentioned the idea of robbing the jewelry counter while he and the defendant were out driving. Cinelli told the defendant that the plan was to go into the store with a gun and a mask, approach the jewelry counter, and demand money or jewelry. He also stated that he preferred to commit the robbery during a snow storm. The defendant knew that Cinelli had a gun because Cinelli had showed the defendant a gun when the two were in Cinelli's apartment. On several occasions following the initial conversation about robbing the jewelry counter, Cinelli and the defendant drove possible escape routes.

A few days before the robbery, Cinelli told the defendant that he had gone to the store by himself with the intention of robbing it, but changed his mind because police officers were present. A blizzard dropped over a foot of snow on the evening of the robbery. Cinelli telephoned the defendant and asked if he wanted to go for a ride. Cinelli arrived at the defendant's home shortly thereafter, and the defendant went outside and got into Cinelli's automobile. The defendant realized that Cinelli intended to commit the robbery that evening because Cinelli was wearing a fake beard and a ski mask, and also because of the snow storm.

The defendant later told the police that he did not see a gun in. Cinelli drove to the store and parked the car on the intended escape route.