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.

Closing Argument for Dorchester Murder Trial Accuses Boston Police Officer of ‘Hero Syndrome’

An attorney for the Dorchester man accused in a murder made a new allegation in yesterday’s closing speech. Rosemary Scapicchio, the attorney representing one of two defendants being charged with first-degree murder, argued that the Boston police officer who was called as a key witness in the case is lying about what he saw in order to be seen as a hero. The murder of Nicholas Fomby-Davis, a 14-year-old who was pulled off his scooter and shot to death on May 30, 2010, has brought Joshua Fernandes, whom Scapicchio is representing, and Crisostomo Lopes to trial at Suffolk Superior Court.

Scapicchio delivered a 30-minute argument, during which time she accused prosecutors of failing to prove Fernandes’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. According to The Boston Globe, she argued that Officer Anthony Williams was too far from the shooting and “not in a position to clearly see what he claimed to have seen.” She also added that none of the other witnesses called could corroborate his account.

Highlighting the inconsistencies of Williams’ story with video surveillance footage taken at the time of the shooting, Scapicchio sought to discourage jurors from accusing Fernandes. She noted that eyewitness error and misidentification is a major source of wrongful convictions. Although Fernandes also made incriminating statements to authorities following his arrest, Scapicchio sought to dismiss their accuracy, saying, “He’s a 16-year-old, just arrested, just charged with a homicide, just told to take the fall for this.”

Attorney in Dorchester murder trial says Boston police officer has ‘hero syndrome’ and can’t be believed, The Boston Globe, June 20, 2012

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