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Commonwealth v. Weichell

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
390 Mass. 62 (1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1032 (1984)



On the night of May 30, 1980, John Foley and several other friends were in Faxon Park after attending a drive-in movie. They heard four shots and saw a man running out of a parking lot. One of Foley’s friends screamed and the man turned to look at them, but continued running. Foley got a full-face look at the man under a streetlight for a full second. Foley gave a description of the man he saw to the police. Foley also assisted a police detective in making a composite drawing of the man Foley saw. The detective assembled a composite, altering features at Foley’s direction until Foley said the composite looked like the man he saw. The composite was introduced as evidence at Weichell’s (defendant) trial. In the courtroom at Weichell’s trial, Foley also identified Weichell as the man he saw running on May 30. Weichell was convicted of first-degree murder and appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lynch, J.)

Dissent (Liacos, J.)

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