23-year-old Michael R, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) had a bad time of it in Cambridge last night. According to the Commonwealth, he was involved in a robbery, before which he fired his gun off. It was an interesting approach, for which he has earned his place in the Boston-area blog and a lawyer.
Of course, law enforcement does not look too kindly upon armed robbers. Even when the treasure sought is so irresistibly valuable as in this case ( an IPhone). They tend to be even less accepting of them when their weapon of choice is a gun and that gun goes off.
The complainant, a 21-year-old Cambridge man, is said to have been drafting a text message on his IPhone when the Defendant approached him from the opposite side of the street. According to the complainant, the Defendant demanded the IPhone.
When the complainant refused to hand over his phone, the Defendant apparently crossed back over to the other side of the street, all the while screaming expletives, The complainant says he then heard two loud bangs, which he believed to be gunshots.
The Defendant then came back and said, “That’s what you get mother [expletive] for not giving me the [expletive] phone,” .
The complainant then reconsidered and gave up the IPhone.
When the police came to investigate, they found the IPhone on the roof of a building near where they found the Defendant. They also found live rounds of .25-caliber ammunition, which they believe belonged to the Defendant..
The Defendant was arrested and charged with armed robbery, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, carrying a loaded firearm and possession of ammunition without a FID card.
Today is September 11th. It is a day that many remember the travesty and violence of 8 years ago when the country was under attack and thousands lost their lives.
It is not a time to be shooting off guns in the street.
Of course, robbery, in itself, is a felony and one that is treated seriously. This case has an interesting twist, however.
If what the complainant describes is believed by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, he will be found guilty of the robbery. The force used, whether or not the Defendant actually had a gun, is enough for that.
However, where is the gun? There is no mention in the story that the gun was found. There is certainly a circumstantial case to believe that he had a gun. After all, he had the bullets, the fireworks seemed to come from his direction and he seemed to claim them as an example to the complainant as to what would happen to him if he did not comply. But where is the direct evidence of the actual gun?
What if he is a guy who walks around with rounds in his pocket and had gone across the street and blew up a couple of big plastic bags and popped them to scare the complainant?
This could be an interesting prosecution if they did not, and do not, recover the gun. On the other hand, it is not going to matter all that much to the Defendant. There is certainly enough evidence against him for the robbery…although even that may not be a “slam dunk”.
Are there fingerprints on the IPhone? Did the complainant use the IPhone to take a picture or video of the Defendant during his trip across the street? Why didn’t the Defendant show the gun instead of walking away to allegedly fire it? Are there spent rounds where the Defendant allegedly shot the gun which match the rounds found on him?
There are various questions in this case which, if the Defendant gets an experienced criminal defense attorney, might be asked and might make a difference.
The key component, of course, is a defense attorney who knows what he is doing.
If you find yourself charged in a felony case such as this and you want to talk to me about it, feel free to call me at 617-492-3000.
In the meantime, have a good, safe and law-abiding weekend!
To view the article upon which today’s blog was based, go to: http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x837459450/Cambridge-man-arrested-after-firing-gun-during-robbery-of-iPhone