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State v. Latraverse

Supreme Court of Rhode Island
443 A.2d 890 (1982)


Salvatore Lombardi, an undercover police detective, purchased four stolen cars from Paul Latraverse (defendant). Latraverse was subsequently arrested and arraigned on charges of receiving stolen goods. Latraverse was freed on bail to await a grand jury proceeding at which Lombardi was to testify. Late one night, Lombardi was at home when he heard a car with a loud muffler. Lombardi looked outside and noticed a car with a license plate from Latraverse’s dealership stop across the street. After waiting several minutes, Lombardi radioed for police backup. As the backup vehicle approached, Latraverse’s vehicle made a U-turn and drove away. The backup vehicle pursued Latraverse’s car. Upon searching inside, the police observed a can of gasoline, a rag, matches, a baseball bat, a hanger stretched to open a car door, and a threatening note addressed to Lombardi. Latraverse was charged with attempting to knowingly and maliciously dissuade a police officer from giving testimony before a grand jury. After waiving a jury trial, Latraverse moved for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that he had abandoned his preparations to commit any criminal act. The trial judge ruled that the abandonment defense was unavailable and returned a conviction. Latraverse appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kelleher, J.)

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