JAIL CALLS ADMISSIBLE

In Commonwealth v viagra faut il une ordonnance. Mejia, the Court of Appeals ruled that the judge did not err in admitting excerpts from several recorded telephone calls that the defendant made from jail following his arrest. The case arose from an incident in which “a group of unidentified individuals dressed in black opened fire on a car…. The occupants of the vehicle, two men and two women, were awaiting the return of the defendant … to complete a drug transaction. Both of the male occupants were shot and wounded; the female occupants were unharmed.” “Prior to trial, the Commonwealth filed a motion in limine to admit excerpts from the recorded … calls…. The Commonwealth contended that it could be inferred from the defendant’s statements that he was orchestrating an attempt to influence the testimony of a female witness…. After reviewing the content of the calls, and learning that this was the only case pending against the defendant at the time they were made, the judge” allowed the motion in limine.

The content of the calls presented to the jury was as follows. “In the first call, the defendant tells the other party that he needs to know promptly whether an unidentified female is willing to ‘sing’ and ‘do the hook,’ because he has to decide whether to take a plea the next day. In a later call, the defendant describes a plea offer he received, the counteroffer he proposed, and the judge’s rejection of the deal because ‘the girl’ was ‘complaining,’ ‘crying,’ ‘sitting in the courtroom.’” “In a conversation that took place three days after the defendant’s arrest, the defendant asks, ‘Did you talk to that girl?’ Then he states, ‘Make sure they didn’t try to get in contact with her.’ In a later conversation, the defendant directs the other person not to be mad ‘at his girl,’ and to tell her that the defendant was ‘good,’ and ‘chillin’ and the ‘wrong person.’ In another call, the defendant discusses rap music and asks the other party to see if the girl will ‘sing the chorus.’ In the last call, the defendant refers to the girl as ‘a snitch,’ and discusses whether she will ‘show up.’”

In his appeal, “the defendant’s first argument was that the admission of two calls referring to plea negotiations violated Mass. R. Crim. P. 12(f).” In rejecting that argument, the Appeals Court stated that “because the defendant’s statements were made to someone who had no authority to negotiate a plea, the judge properly admitted them under the authority of Commonwealth v. Boyarski,”  The Court also rejected the defendant’s other claim, that the calls “did not relate to this case.” The Court opined that “despite the use of oblique language, the defendant’s statements were susceptible to the interpretation that he was directing the recipient of the call to contact a female witness  and persuade her to provide favorable testimony. Therefore, the judge did not err in admitting the evidence and leaving it for the jury to evaluate.”

 

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