This past weekend was a bad one for 20-year-old Vernon C. of New Bedford (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). He was arrested on Sunday and charged with multiple felony charges which have brought him incarceration and a lawyer.
According to the Commonwealth, the Defendant was at a party late Friday night when he demanded a chain necklace from one of his fellow party-goers.
He did so at gunpoint.
21-year-old Scott M. (hereinafter, the “Deceased”) tried to intervene. He was shot for the attempt. He was pronounced dead Saturday afternoon. In a Boston-area hospital.
The Defendant was arrested by the State Police on Sunday. He has been charged with first degree murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (to wit a handgun), assault with intent to rob, unlawful possession of a gun, and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Some people may be surprised that, after being charged with the homicide, the Commonwealth has bothered to charge the accompanying crimes. This is what is regularly done, however.
Prosecutors charge all the crimes that they believe occurred, even if it means a certain amount of duplication. For example, the assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is the shooting. In other words, the homicide. However, the elements are different. Nobody need die for that charge.
“Actually, Sam, couldn’t there be a defense that the gunshot only wounded him, but it was the hospital that somehow made a mistake which lead to his death?”
To some degree, perhaps, but the trip to the hospital was caused by the gunshot, so it would be a homicide nonetheless.
Last week, we spoke about the difference between robbery and burglary. I explained that, often, like in a burglary, the intent behind the crime controls how the crime is treated. The assault in this case is such a case.
Notice that it is an assault with the intent to rob. This makes it a more serious type of assault charge.
Actually, these are the charges the Defendant is facing in district court, drawn up by the police and the district attorney shortly after the incident. These are not necessarily the charges he will remain facing.
Being the serious felony charges that he is facing, the matter will most likely be presented to a Grand Jury to return an Indictment. The Indictment will take the place of the Criminal Complaint and the matter will move to Superior Court. When the prosecutor presents the matter to the Grand Jury, other crimes, such as assault with intent to kill, may be added.
When the Indictment is returned, the Defendant will be arraigned again and the matter will really start in earnest.
Of course, to the Defendant and his family, it already has begun in earnest already; he is a guest of the Commonwealth.
Should you find yourself or someone you care about to be facing such serious charges as these and wish to discuss the matter with me, please feel free to call me at (617) 206-1942.
For the full article upon which today’s blog is based, go to http://www.wickedlocal.com/wareham/news/x939036733/Arrest-made-in-fatal-Wareham-shooting