Articles Posted in Jury Trials

On the Friday after Thanksgiving 2020, SP, a 32 year old electrical engineer from Dorchester, and his girlfriend spent the day visiting with family and friends. The last stop was with family in Haverhill where they visited from about 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. They left the house in Haverhill and headed back toward Boston. SP was driving and his girlfriend, who had had quite a bit to drink, quickly fell asleep. As SP was driving down I-93 South a State Police Officer was at the side of the road operating a lidar speed gun. SP was timed at 81 mph. The trooper began a pursuit and got behind SP and put on his blue lights. SP moved from the left lane across the middle lane to the right lane. According to the Trooper SP hesitated and finally pulled into the breakdown lane and stopped. According to the Trooper SP had traveled 1/2 mile after being signaled to stop before finally coming to a stop.

The Trooper then approached the passenger side of the vehicle and immediately observed an open 12 pack of White Claw alcoholic seltzer on the floor of the front passenger seat and he noticed an open 12 oz. can of Seltzer leaning against the center console on the passenger side. The passenger was sleeping but awoke when the trooper knocked his flashlight against the window and shined the light inside the car. SP put the passenger window down and the Trooper immediately noticed a strong odor of liquor coming form the car. According to the Trooper SP’s “eyes were glassy and red and he spoke with a thick tongue in a very slow demeanor as if he was heavily contemplating his response prior to answering any questions”. When the Trooper asked SP where they were coming from the Trooper wrote in his report that SP “looked at me with a blank stare on his face”. The Trooper asked SP to step from the vehicle and according to the Trooper SP stated “What if I don’t?” The Trooper then opened the car door and SP got out. According to the Trooper SP was unsteady and lethargic as he walked. The Trooper placed SP under arrest and placed him in the back of the police cruiser. Upon arrival at the State Police Barracks in Andover, SP was removed from the police car and brought up the flight of stairs to the rear entrance into the station. According to the Trooper as SP climbed the stairs he bounced “his left shoulder off the wall for balance near the top of the staircase”. SP was then booked, fingerprinted, refused the breath test, and was subsequently released. His girlfriend had also been brought to the barracks. She called her parents (in Mendon, MA!) who drove up to Andover to post the $40 bail and pick up their daughter and SP. They all left the station.

SP went to Lawrence District Court the following Monday where he was arraigned and his case was continued for a pre-trial hearing. SP sought out a lawyer. SP met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately filed a Motion for copies of all recordings made by the police – all body cams, all dash cams, and all videos from the police station. There were no body cams and there were no dash cams. But there was a video from the booking room. The booking room video was an hour and eight minutes long. It was silent; no sound. It began when SP entered the booking room from the top of the stairs and it ends with SP leaving the booking room to exit the station. Attorney Lewin watched and studied the video. It was EXCELLENT.  When SP stood and walked there was NO unsteadiness. He sat – in words that Attorney Lewin used during the trial – like a Sphinx. He did not fidget or sway or move. Attorney Lewin also interviewed SP’s girlfriend’s parents as they would be witnesses during the trial. Due to there not being any jury trials due to covid, the trial weas delayed, but finally took place on December 15, 2021 in Courtroom 5 in Lawrence District Court. In the week leading up to the trial Attorney Lewin had two trial prep sessions with SP and his girlfriend (via zoom) and one trial prep session with SP’s girlfriend’s parents. Attorney Lewin practiced with all of them and advised them of the types of questions they would be asked by the DA. This avoids any surprises.

On April 5, 2019 ML was working as a bar tender at a hall in Haverhill. There was a mercy meal function and she had been called in to work the function. ML was a 49 year old single mother of two children.  During the course of the evening ML had occasion to go out to a storage hallway behind the bar to pick up an additional bottle of liquor for the bar. While in the back hallway a woman came out of the ladies room (which was located off the hallway) and handed a pocket book to ML. The lady told ML that she found the pocketbook in the ladies room. ML quickly glanced inside the pocketbook and then walked back into the area behind the bar and placed the pocketbook on a shelf under the bar next to her own pocketbook. All the above was captured on a security video in the hallway and behind the bar. At a later point in the evening ML can be seen (on the security video) bending down under the bar in the area where she had placed her own pocketbook and the pocketbook that had been handed to her. Later in the evening a woman at the mercy meal can be seen running around the hall and finally approaching the bar. The woman tells ML that she cannot find her pocketbook. ML is seen immediately getting the pocketbook and handing it to the woman. The lady looks inside the pocket book and yells that her $500 in cash for her rent was missing from the pocket book. The woman dials 911 and the police respond. The police speak to ML who denies stealing anything from the pocketbook.

The next day the police review all the security videos from the bar and charge ML with Larceny (stealing) of the $500 allegedly taken from the pocketbook.

ML then meets with and retains Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. ML and Attorney Lewin go to Haverhill District Court. ML – from day one – insisted to Attorney Lewin that ML was innocent. The case went through an arraignment, a pre-trial hearing, several discovery compliance dates (so that Attorney Lewin could get all the security videos), and ultimately was set down for a trial by jury on March 31, 2020. Then the covid 19 pandemic struck. It took a year and a half to finally get a new firm date for jury trial. The case was set down for trial on Monday, August 16, 2021. In the weeks leading up to the trial ML and Attorney Lewin prepared for the trial. Attorney Lewin prepared ML to testify in her own defense at the trial. At the same time Attorney Lewin “pestered” the DA’s Office to drop the case. On Friday morning, August 13, 2021, the Judge in Haverhill District Court had scheduled a “trial readiness conference” with the Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin (on the phone). The Assistant District Attorney told the Judge and Attorney Lewin that the District Attorney was filing a “nolle prosequi”. A “nolle prosequi” is a termination of the prosecution of a criminal case by the Commonwealth. It is a dismissal of the case that is filed by the Commonwealth.

On Thursday, January 7, 2016 a Salem District Court jury found KU, a former Salem State University freshman, not guilty of Indecent Assault & Battery and Assault & Battery after deliberating for only 18 minutes. The case went back to May of 2014. KU (then a 19 year old male student) and NN (then a 19 year old female student) were both freshman at Salem State. They lived in the same dormitory. On Thursday, May 1, 2014 they went to a concert on the campus and then headed back to the dorm. NN invited KU to her room. He accepted the invite. Once in the room NN put on her television and got out a bottle of vodka and made a drink for herself and for KU. The two sat on NN’s bed and talked and watched TV. They were together in the room for several hours. After that her version of what happened and his version of what happened were very different. In a statement NN gave to the campus police she told the police that KU tried to kiss her and she told him she was not interested. She then told the police that KU said he wanted to f–k her and then he pushed her down on the bed and tried removing her bra and pants (without success). NN told the police that KU grabbed and slapped her buttocks and groped her breasts. The campus police called in KU. He told the police that yes he was in the room and yes he tried to kiss her but that was all that happened. He denied holding her down (the basis of the assault & battery charge) and he denied groping her breasts and touching her buttocks (the basis of the indecent assault & battery charge). The police charged KU with the two offenses.

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