Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Boston-Born Shooting Victim Becomes Homicide Casualty Of Street Crime

There is a tragic scene taking place in north of Boston city of Lynn. It is playing out on the Victim side of the criminal justice equation. It will also likely mean bad news for a particular assailant when it is time for arrest and attorney- life without parole type of bad news.

The family of Vincent G., a 30-year-old man (hereinafter, the “Victim”), faced with determinations of his being brain dead since being shot in the head Sunday morning are planning to remove him from life support.

About the shooting-turned homicide we know only a part. Apparently, at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, the Victim was shot once in the head outside Soriano’s nightclub in Lynn. His fiancée who was at the scene is said to desperately tried to keep him alive at the scene, giving him CPR as he slowly slipped away in her arms.

The Victim was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital and then air-lifted to Boston Medical Center.

Originally, the family had hope that the Victim would survive, clinging to promising signs of his occasional blinking or coughing.

“We thought he was going to make it, but he’s brain dead,” explains a family member. “The bullet is still there in his brain and they can’t get it out because his brain is so swollen. So his mom asked us to say our last prayers because she decided to pull the plug.”

Police provided no additional details on the shooting itself.

“Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of our investigation, we will not be releasing any further details at this time,” Lt. William Sharpe said.

This is apparently not a case of a fight inside the club spilling out the doors. According to the Victim’s fiancée, he had simply gone to the club to meet her and walk her safely home. Walking through the parking lot, they met up with someone with whom the Victim had had what is described as a “small disagreement” in the past. Then, apparently, one of four men standing along a nearby wall approached the two men.

“I walked away to get my car and heard gunshots,” explained the fiancée. She further described seeing a blue Audi speed away from the shooting scene.

The Victim had had criminal justice difficulties in the past. These difficulties included a number of events which included armed robbery, firearms possession and restraining order cases. However, there has not been any linkage made between these events and his own shooting. His fiancée further states that she isn’t aware of the Victim’s having any enemies and doesn’t know anyone who would have wanted to harm him.

No arrests have been made and descriptions of the suspect(s) have not been released by police and both Lynn and State police are investigating all possible leads in the case.

Born in Boston and raised in Lynn, the Victim leaves behind five children and was in the process of looking for a job. “He loved his kids and was a real family man,” the Victim’s family describes. “He would go out of his way for family and had an open heart to everybody. He was a good role model and a big influence on his kids.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lynn police at 781-595-2000.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

“Before you get started, Sam…” I can see it coming “…putting our sympathy for the family aside, how is he described as a ‘role model’ and such given his prior criminal history which numbers 60 arraignments?”

This question may seem insensitive to you, but it reflects a sentiment I have heard so often in the past. It almost rivals the omnipresent question of “How can you defend those people?”
The answer to the second question is a bit lengthy. The answer to the first one isn’t. The fact is that people are complex and, thankfully, do have the ability to change some behaviors. I do not know the Victim and I do not know the specifics of his life story. I do know, however, that one aspect of one’s life does not usually define that person’s entire existence. So, clearly he had people out there who were not too fond of him in the past and the System may look askance at him. However, he is a human being with various sides. To some, he may have been a foe. To others, a positive role model.

In any event, there is certainly no evidence that his prior problems were connected to this shooting. To their great credit, as well as their job description, police officers do not simply “write off” the killing of a human being who had a troubled past. A human life is a human life.

I would like to think that said sentiment is why Massachusetts still has no death penalty…but I digress.

That being said, it is worth noting, particularly to the younger among us who too often see violence, drugs and street crime as an exciting and lucrative way of life can often lead to disagreements with violent individuals. Again, I am unaware of any facts that would mean that the Victim’s shooting was connected with his case, or that he had any previous cases involving drugs. The fact is, though, that I have about a quarter century of experience in dealing with this way of life and I have seen it play out as I describe in some many tragic instances.

When a suspect is finally arrested in this matter, he will no longer be simply charged solely with assault-related charges. This matter is now a homicide case. Specifically, it sounds like the charge of Murder, given that people seldom put a gun to someone’s head and pull the trigger, shooting them, and do not intend for death to result.

In the meantime, the pressure is on law enforcement, especially since this matter has garnered public attention, to solve this case as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this often leads to mistakes, broad assumptions and the oft-quoted “rush to judgment”. So, while this posting begins with the Victim’s perspective, it ends from the viewpoint of the accused…sometimes guilty and sometimes the victim of careless crime-solving.

The bottom line is the same. If you find yourself included in an investigation of this type, or even accused of the crime itself, you want to get an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you as soon as possible. How soon is too soon? Well, anyone who has reason to believe they are suspected, let alone the actual person or people involved in this shooting, have already past the stage of it being “too early”.

If you wish to discuss such a matter with me, please feel free to contact me at 617-492-3000.

If you wish to read the original article upon which this blog posting is based, please go to http://www.itemlive.com/articles/2009/11/24/news/news01.txt

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