Commonwealth v. Wall

Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant’s defense was that a third party killed the victim while Defendant was unconscious due to severe intoxication. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction, holding (1) any prejudice in the admission into evidence of recorded telephone calls made on the day of the murder between Defendant and his girlfriend was cured by the judge; (2) the admission of a medical record showing that Defendant tested negative for any drugs was error, but Defendant suffered no risk of a miscarriage of justice; (3) counsel did not provide ineffective assistance; (4) the trial judge did not err in instructing the jury that there is no “legal limit” of intoxication for any purposes other than determining whether one is guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; and (5) Defendant’s claim that his right to a public trial during jury empaneled was violated was waived. View "Commonwealth v. Wall" on Justia Law