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Commonwealth v. Ruano

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Essex

February 18, 2015

Commonwealth
v.
Geovanni Ruano

Argued: October 14, 2014

Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 25, 2011.

The case was tried before Howard J. Whitehead, J.

Judgment reversed. Verdict set aside. Judgment shall enter for the defendant.

Patricia A. DeJuneas for the defendant.

Catherine Langevin Semel, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

Present: Cypher, Grainger, & Maldonado, JJ.

OPINION

[25 N.E.3d 332] Grainger, J.

The defendant appeals from a conviction of influencing a witness by intimidation, G. L. c. 268, § 13B, by a jury of the Superior Court.[1] He asserts insufficiency of the evidence on appeal.

Factual background.

As relevant to the issue on appeal, the jury could have found from the evidence introduced by the Common-

Page 99

wealth[2] that on July 31, 2010, the defendant and the witness had an altercation. While the underlying reason for the altercation remains unclear from the record, the Commonwealth's evidence was that the defendant entirely lost control of his temper when he believed the witness's motor vehicle was blocking his sport utility vehicle (SUV), that the defendant screamed obscenities at the witness and informed the witness that he was a police officer, and, finally, that the defendant shoved the witness with his SUV until the witness was on the SUV's hood. The jury found the defendant not guilty of all charges stemming from the incident.

The next day, and after the defendant ascertained that the witness had reported the incident to police, the defendant's girl friend, who lived across the street from the witness, appeared at the witness's door and inquired whether the defendant could come over to apologize. The witness agreed, but asked that the visit not take place for twenty minutes. The defendant waited for a period of time and then appeared with his girl friend, whereupon they were invited by the witness into his kitchen. During the ensuing conversation the defendant and ...


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