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.

LYNN TEENAGER IS HELD ON HIGH BAIL AFTER FLEEING MASSACHUSETTS MURDER SCENE

Two things about which I have warned you many times have come into play in Lynn. 18-year-old Jacquan McKenzie (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is facing the results right now.

On January 12, the Defendant was observed fleeing from the area of a homicide. The homicide was the shooting death of 29-year-old Henry Aquino. A criminal investigation ensued.

This triggered warning number one, namely “if the police are coming to talk to you, do not try to out talk, out fight or out run them.”

The Defendant was caught and, although they have not tied him to the homicide, he was arrested. He was charged with trespassing, carrying a firearm without a license, and carrying a loaded firearm. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The gun counts came from the allegation that he dropped a gun during the chase. Apparently, the Defendant has neither been charged with the murder nor definitively tied to the gun.

However, this takes us to warning number two, namely “beware of what you do when local police are trying to put together a serious case, such as a murder investigation.”

Despite the fact that the Defendant was not tied to either the gun or the murder, the Commonwealth initially requested that he be held without bail and to have a hearing to establish that he is a dangerous person who must be held in order to protect society. On Tuesday, however, as the prosecutors looked more closely at the case, they dropped that request. This may have something to do with the fact that there was no evidence that he was a threat, and so they would lose the hearing. Nevertheless, the Commonwealth asked that he be held on $50,000 bail.

The court granted that request.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Wrong Attitude

Let me first point out that I have no information as to whether the Defendant has a prior criminal record. Assuming he does not, you might be wondering why he would be held for a dangerousness hearing and then for $50,000 on a trespassing case in which a gun was recovered which has not even been tied to him yet.

I would suggest that it is the combination of the two warnings mentioned above. Both have come into play here.

A murder apparently took place. The police were investigating that murder. The Defendant was seen running from the location of the murder. Police try to question him and he tries to flee. Bad move. See warning number one.

Of course, it did not help the Defendant that he was allegedly seen getting rid of a gun. Assuming that he was actually seen throwing the gun, we now have somebody trying to outrun the police while fleeing the scene of the murder who was in possession of a gun. Remember, the police are trying to piece together the puzzle of a murder.

Enter the lesson of warning number two.

The police do not know whether the Defendant had anything to do with the murder. However, he was trying to quickly run away from the scene of the murder, and from them, and he was in possession of a firearm. The police now see him as someone who was likely involved in the murder or was, at least, a witness to something helpful to them in the investigation. It is now time to squeeze the Defendant to find out what story, or stories, he will give them. If he hits the right combination, he may suddenly find himself out of custody and maybe even out of trouble with the new title of “Commonwealth Witness”.

And if he does not hit the right cord with the investigating officers?

Well, even if they can’t tie him to the gun, they can always get him for trespass.

Unless the defendant has a criminal record long enough to choke a horse, he would not normally be looking at any jail time even if convicted of the trespass.

What’s different here?

Please review warnings number one and two.

For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/01/17/man-held-bail-for-allegedly-kidnapping-medical-student-south-end/Q3j00F3sxJfnQhZyTyW1NP/story.html

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