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Commonwealth v. Carvalho

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Bristol

January 13, 2016

Commonwealth
v.
John V. Carvalho

Argued October 6, 2015.

Complaints received and sworn to in the Fall River Division of the District Court Department on July 1, 2010, and March 30, 2011.

After transfer to the New Bedford Division of the District Court Department, the cases were tried before Robert A. Welsh, III, J.

Dana Alan Curhan for the defendant.

Corey T. Mastin, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

Present: Berry, Green, & Blake, JJ.

OPINION

Berry, J.

Following a District Court jury trial, the defendant was convicted on two counts of intimidation of a witness, G. L.

Page 841

c. 268, § 13B, and one count of violation of a harassment prevention order, G. L. c. 258E, § 9. In this appeal, the defendant contends that the trial judge erred (1) in denying the defendant's peremptory challenge of one prospective juror who was the only minority seated on the petit jury; and (2) in refusing to pose a specific question to prospective jurors as to their experience with restraining and harassment prevention orders. The defendant also argues that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support the guilty verdicts on the two counts of witness intimidation against him. We affirm.

1. Background.

The jury could have found that the defendant and the victim, who rented an apartment from the defendant, had a series of hostile encounters that culminated in the victim obtaining a harassment prevention order against the defendant.[1] Following the issuance of that order, the defendant confronted the victim and made comments to her about dropping it. The defendant was charged with intimidating a witness and violating the harassment prevention order, and, as mentioned, he was found guilty by a jury in the District Court.[2]

2. Jury issues.

We address two jury-related challenges posed by the defendant: the peremptory challenge and the denial of a special question regarding experience with ...


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