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08/10/77 COMMONWEALTH v. GRACE CAMPBELL (AND TWO

August 10, 1977

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GRACE CAMPBELL (AND TWO COMPANION CASES) *FN1



Suffolk. Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court on February 10, 1975. The cases were tried before Roy, J.

Keville, Grant, & Armstrong, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Kidnapping. Constitutional Law, Speedy trial. Practice, Criminal, Speedy trial, Disqualification of Judge, Charge to jury. Jury and Jurors. Grand Jury. Evidence, Other offense, Cross-examination, Opinion. Error, Whether error harmful.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Keville

Where a prisoner serving a sentence in a correctional institution filed an application for a speedy trial under G. L. c. 277, § 72A, with respect to certain pending indictments but not with respect to a pending indictment for kidnapping because the superintendent of the correctional institution had failed to inform her of the latter indictment, her application under § 72A was treated as encompassing the kidnapping charge. [574-575]

A delay of six months and eighteen days between the time a defendant filed an application for a speedy trial under G. L. c. 277, § 72A, and the commencement of her trial did not require dismissal of the indictment where twenty-five days of that delay were attributable to the defendant. [575-576]

A motion for a speedy trial with respect to pending indictments by a defendant serving a sentence in a correctional institution was treated as an application under the provisions of G. L. c. 277, § 72A, where there was no evidence that the defendant had been informed of her § 72A rights in prison. [577]

A delay of nearly a year between the time a defendant filed an application for a speedy trial under G. L. c. 277, § 72A, and the commencement of her trial did not require dismissal of the indictments where the only portion of the delay attributable to the Commonwealth was less than two months and the remaining continuances granted were within the sound discretion of the court. [577-580]

A delay of twenty-three months between the arrest of a defendant and the commencement of her trial and a delay of fourteen months between the date of a codefendant's indictment and the commencement of trial were both sufficient to trigger an inquiry as to whether either defendant had been denied her constitutional right to a speedy trial. [581-582]

Where it appeared that lengthy delays between a defendant's arrest and her trial and a codefendant's indictment and trial were at most a result of administrative neglect by the Commonwealth rather than an intentional attempt to hamper the defendants, the reasons for the delay provided only limited support for the defendants' constitutional claims that the delay required dismissal of the indictments. [582-583]

A defendant who filed an application for a speedy trial under G. L. c. 277, § 72A, and twice filed motions to dismiss the indictment for want of a speedy trial and a co-defendant who filed similar motions both adequately asserted their constitutional right to a speedy trial. [583-584]

A Judge at a criminal trial did not err in denying two codefendants' motions to dismiss the indictments for want of a speedy trial where the defendants failed to make a clear demonstration of actual prejudice resulting from the delay. [584-585]

There was no error in a Judge's refusal to dismiss an indictment against a defendant on the ground that women were systematically underrepresented on the grand jury which indicted her where it appeared that the grand jury was convened prior to the decision in Taylor v. Louisiana, 49 U.S. 522 (1975). [585-586]

The fact that a Judge at a criminal trial had, during a previous trial involving the same defendant, asked a police officer, ex parte, what sort of people the defendants were and the officer replied that "hey are animals and they will do anything" did not require him to disqualify himself from the later trial. [586-588]

Evidence relevant to a criminal charge was not rendered inadmissible merely because it indicated that the defendant might have committed another crime. [588]

A Judge at a criminal trial did not in the circumstances abuse his discretion in refusing to allow certain cross-examination intended to show bias of a Commonwealth witness. [588-589]

At a criminal trial, a paraphrased restatement of a witness's testimony by the Judge was not prejudicial error even though his characterization of the testimony as being "clear and unequivocal" may not have been completely accurate. [590]

Although a Judge at a kidnapping trial erred in excluding a question on cross-examination of the victim as to whether the defendant had "force to do anything against will," the error was harmless in the circumstances. [590-591]

At a criminal trial, there was no error in the Judge's charge taken in its entirety. [591]

At a kidnapping trial, there was sufficient evidence to warrant a finding that the defendant had participated with a co-defendant in committing the crime. [591-592]

Grace Campbell (Campbell) was convicted of kidnapping and Rosalind Kelley (Kelley) of kidnapping and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon in connection with an incident at the home of Calvin Williams (Calvin) in Roxbury on May 27, 1974. They appeal pursuant to G. L. c. 278, §§ 33A-33G.

Shortly after midnight on that date Campbell, a friend of Calvin's wife (Nancy), appeared at the door of the Williams's apartment and asked to use the bathroom. Either Calvin or Nancy let her in. While Campbell was in the bathroom, Kelley entered the apartment and accused Calvin of raping her sister. She was holding what appeared to be a pistol. When Calvin denied the accusation, he and Kelley began to struggle. Calvin testified that at one point he managed to wrest control of the gun from Kelley and give it to Campbell, who had emerged from the bathroom, but that Campbell handed the gun back to Kelley. Calvin also stated at trial that in the course of the fight Kelley cut him on the forehead with a knife.

After the scuffle, Calvin agreed to go with Kelley to ask her sister whether he had been the rapist. There was some dispute at the trial whether Calvin or Kelley initially suggested the idea of searching out Kelley's sister, but Calvin testified that he decided to go out of fear for himself ...


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