As winter weather, and Christmas movies, re-enter our lives this year, we are revisited today by a ghost of winters’ past. Yesterday, a “Not Guilty” plea was entered in court on behalf of Gerald H., 47, of Roslindale (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) as his attorney stood beside him. The Defendant was recently paroled from a 18-20 years in involuntary Commonwealth housing. Now, he stands accused of, among other things, armed robbery.
The Defendant was convicted of two homicides during the Blizzard of ’78. The weapons of choice then was apparently both knives and guns. He was convicted of manslaughter for one such stabbing occurring in 1977. The other homicide conviction was for second –degree murder. The crime involved the shooting of a man during an attempted robbery by three youths, one of which being the Defendant. He had been out on bail from the stabbing at the time.
On September 3rd, the Defendant was released from the Boston Pre-Release Center in Roslindale. As of yesterday, his is being held on one million dollars bail and a parole detainer. He is charged with the robbery of more than $21,000 from and the pistol-whipping of a city cab dispatcher.
Law enforcement claims that an officer on a paid detail saw the Defendant hailing another cab, caught up with the cab and arrested the Defendant at gunpoint. Recovered were two shopping bags full of money, a .38 caliber firearm.
Charges against the Defendant include armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and receiving a stolen vehicle.
According to the authorities, the Defendant wore pantyhose over his face during the robbery and had an, as yet, still unknown accomplice with him. It is a different picture from what his defense attorney describes. According to the lawyer, the Defendant has actually been living with his mother, trying to adjust to life as a free man. He was purportedly “doing well” and the family claims that “he worked too hard to get home for him to be involved in anything like this.”
Well, however the case goes, the Defendant is going to have a respite from trying to adjust to life as a free man.
The Defendant faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. First of all, the charges with which he is faced carry potential lifetime sentences. Second, this would be a third violent felony conviction for him. This carries its own penalties and mandatory sentences.
Of course, that is aside from his upcoming parole violation hearing.
Parole is similar to probation. The primary difference is that it is a way of getting out of prison before your entire sentence has been served. Probation watches one in lieu of the incarceration. Murder cases carry potential lifetime sentences (only Murder in the first degree takes away parole consideration). In the Defendant’s case(s), he has substantial time left to serve. It is not clear whether the prison terms to which he was sentenced were concurrent or consecutive, but simply math would indicate that he had already served more than 20 years according to the numbers released by the media. However, 20 years is often considered a life sentence.
In any event, there is little question as to whether the Defendant will be found to be in violation of the terms of Parole. Regardless of the robbery and assault allegations, he was found to be in possession of a firearm. You may be sure that this, in and of itself, violates said terms.
Interestingly, there is no mention of the Defendant’s having been found in possession of the pantyhose mask. Perhaps this, together with possible difficulties the complainant may have in identifying him, may give rise to a defense that he did not commit the crimes. Of course, he will have to come up with a reason for the bags and their contents…not to mention the gun.
Needless to say, expert counsel is needed for this Defendant, whether it be to present his defense or, simply, try to get the best plea bargain possible. Given the Defendant’s history and the violent nature of the crimes involved, he had best be quite experienced in such cases. There are a number of such attorneys in the Boston area. I happen to be one of them, by the way. Should you have a serious and potentially future-depriving matter that you would like to discuss with me, please feel free to call me at (617) 206-1942.
For the original story upon which today’s blog was based, go to http://wbztv.com/wireapnewsma/Murder.convict.released.2.1303925.html and http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/2009/11/10/Convicted-killer-accused-in/1257906129.html