On December 21, 2019 two men (JG and JM) who shared an apartment in Newburyport went out for a few drinks. They returned back to the apartment. It is at this point that the two versions of what happened differ wildly. The police reports contain the following: According to JG, who owned the lease on the apartment, JG asked the roommate JM to leave the apartment. When JM refused to leave an argument broke out and JM punched JG and pushed him to the floor knocking over a Christmas tree. According to JM, when they returned from the bar JM tried to go to sleep but JG began arguing with JM and JG pushed and scratched JM at which point JM pushed JG away. Both men told the police that the other man was the aggressor. Both men told the police that the other man hit first. And both men told the police they acted in self-defense. JG had visible injuries and he had been the one that called the police. JG requested medical attention and was brought to the hospital. The police arrested JM at the scene and the police told JG that he would receive a notice to go to court.
On December 23, 2020 JM was arraigned in Newburyport District Court and his case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to January 27, 2020. JM was appointed a lawyer. JG received a Notice of a Criminal Complaint Application that had been filed by the police. The Notice informed JG that the police had filed an application against JG at the Court wherein the police were asking the Clerk-Magistrate of the Court to issue a criminal complaint against JG for Assault & Battery. The Notice further informed JG that a hearing would be held at the Court by a Clerk-Magistrate on January 31, 2020. JG met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin of Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to JG that you never want to be in criminal court – especially in Newburyport District Court, the toughest District Court in Essex County. Attorney Lewin explained to JG that the only people who “win” in Criminal Court are the lawyers because the lawyers get paid to be there. Attorney Lewin explained to JG that if JM refused to testify against JG then it was very likely the case against JG would go away and JG would not be charged. Likewise, Attorney Lewin explained that if JG refused to testify against JM the case against JM would likely go away. JG told Attorney Lewin that he did not want to be charged and he had no problem with the case against JM being dismissed.
Attorney Lewin called the lawyer that had been appointed to represent JM and proposed that both men refuse to testify against the other in their respective cases. The public defender agreed with Attorney Lewin’s suggestion. Attorney Lewin called the police prosecutor. The police prosecutor represents the police department at the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. The prosecutor said that if JM had no interest in going forward with the case against JG then the police would not press the matter forward at the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin told the public defender for JM to speak with the Assistant DA and to tell the DA that Attorney Lewin represented JG and that JG was not going to testify against JM.