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Commonwealth v. Bacigalupo
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
918 N.E.2d 51 (2009)
John Bacigalupo (defendant) and codefendant, Gary Carter, were charged with first-degree premeditated murder for the shooting death of Robert Nogueira and two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for shooting drug dealers Charles McConnell and Vincent Portalla. Carter confessed his and Bacigalupo’s involvement in the shootings to John Patti. The commonwealth intended to call Patti to testify at trial. The trial court denied Bacigalupo’s motion to sever his trial from Carter’s. The trial judge stated that any reference to Bacigalupo would be excluded when the commonwealth introduced Carter’s confession at trial. On direct examination, Patti referred to a friend of Carter’s who had also been involved in the shooting. On cross-examination, Patti testified that Carter told him Johnny had shot Nogueira. Also, earlier in his testimony, Patti referred to Bacigalupo as Johnny. The trial court instructed the jurors that they could not use Carter’s statements against Bacigalupo. The jury convicted Bacigalupo on all counts. Bacigalupo appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cowin, J.)
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