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Commonwealth v. Coleman

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
747 N.E.2d 666 (2001)


Wayland Coleman (defendant) was attacked by two men outside a nightclub. The altercation then expanded to include several people, and punches were thrown. Coleman left the crowd and went to a nearby vehicle, where he opened the vehicle’s trunk to retrieve a gun. Coleman then moved back toward the fight. Evidence shows that the victim followed Coleman to the vehicle, but that the victim was unarmed. Coleman shot the victim in the chest. Evidence suggests Coleman shot the victim a second time once the victim was laying on the ground. Coleman and three other men then fled the scene by car. The victim later died from his injuries. Coleman was convicted of: (1) first-degree murder with deliberate premeditation and (2) unlawful possession of a firearm. Coleman moved for the trial court to set aside the murder verdict or reduce the conviction to manslaughter. The trial court denied the requests and also denied the subsequent request for reconsideration. Coleman appealed the murder conviction on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding of deliberate premeditation.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, C.J.)

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