December 11, 2015
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June
review by this court, 466 Mass. 327 (2013), a motion for a
new trial was heard by Barbara J. Rouse, J.
L. Hayden for the defendant.
M. Campbell, Assistant District Attorney ( Mark T. Lee,
Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.
Gants, C.J., Cordy, Botsford, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.
N.E.3d 1013] Cordy, J.
February 10, 2000, police responded to a telephone call made
by the defendant, Demond Chatman, reporting that his mother,
the victim, had been shot. The defendant directed officers to
the home of the victim's aunt, where the defendant was
living. The police found the victim's body in the
January 24, 2002, a jury returned a guilty verdict against
the defendant on the charge of murder in the first degree.
The defendant appealed, and, in May, 2008, during the
pendency of that appeal, the [46 N.E.3d 1014] defendant filed
a motion for a new trial on the ground that he had not been
competent to stand trial. The motion judge, who was also the
trial judge, denied the motion in October, 2011, after a
nonevidentiary hearing. The defendant appealed.
September, 2013, we reversed the denial of the motion for a
new trial and remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing
consistent with a newly established burden of proof on
defendants who, postverdict, seek a new trial on the basis of
incompetency when the issue was not raised or considered at
the time of, or prior to, trial. See Commonwealth v.
Chatman, 466 Mass. 327, 335-336, 339, 995 N.E.2d 32
(2013). In November, 2014, after four days of evidentiary
hearings, the motion judge again denied the defendant's
before us for the second time, the defendant combines his
direct appeal from his conviction with his challenge to the
denial of his motion for a new trial. He also requests
relief pursuant to our authority under G. L. c. 278, §
33E. As we explain below, our review of the entire record
discloses no basis on which to grant relief. We therefore
affirm the defendant's conviction and the denial of his
motion for a new trial.
summarize the essential facts presented at trial, most of
which are set forth in our decision in Chatman, 466
Mass. at 328-330. The defendant had a hostile relationship
with his mother, the victim. On February 10, 2000, at 2:30
p.m., the defendant telephoned 911 to report that his mother
had been shot. Earlier that day, between 11 a.m. and noon,
the defendant had told the aunt that he was going to "
work out" at Franklin Park. He also had asked her where
she kept the mop and bucket, which he wanted to use to clean
his room on his return.
Commonwealth presented a circumstantial case against the
defendant at trial. A pathologist testified that, based on
the rigidity of the victim's body at the time it was
found, death occurred between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. There
was evidence that the body had been moved to the aunt's
bedroom, where the police first viewed it, including
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing that showed bloodstains
belonging to the victim in the hallway, the bathroom, and the
kitchen; in the defendant's bedroom, the defendant had
left a bloody fingerprint. Further DNA testing indicated that
blood found on the defendant's clothing and sneakers
matched that of the victim. Bloody footprints were found in
the bathroom, and the evidence indicated that washcloths had
been used to soak up some of the blood.
defendant sought to rebut the evidence offered by the
Commonwealth, and unsuccessfully presented an alibi defense
tending to show that he was at Franklin Park at the time of
the victim's death.
The defendant's competency at trial.
issue of competency to stand trial was first raised six years
after the trial in the defendant's May, 2008, motion for
a new trial. Chatman, 466 Mass. at 327-328, 335-336.
evidentiary hearing in 2014, the defendant called ten
witnesses in support of his position: Ray Walden, Dr. Mark
Hanson, and Patricia Hilliard, who treated
[46 N.E.3d 1015] the defendant during his early teens and
into his high school years; trial counsel, John Bonistalli;
Sharon Church, who was co-counsel at the trial; and Drs.
Marion Smith, Joseph Grillo, Charles Drebing, Robert
H. Joss, and Naomi Leavitt, mental health professionals who
were responsible for either treating or diagnosing the
defendant after trial.
counsel Bonistalli testified that he began representing the
defendant in 2000, and that he settled on an alibi defense
based on his meetings with the defendant and his review of
the police records. The defendant insisted that he did not
commit the crime, so Bonistalli's reasonable doubt
defense relied on the defendant's statements and his
assistance in reviewing the facts to establish an alibi. The
defendant did not report any of his mental health
history to Bonistalli, and Bonistalli did not notice anything
to suggest that the defendant was impaired by some mental
illness. Bonistalli testified that he had the impression that
he was communicating with the defendant, and that the
defendant understood what Bonistalli was talking about and
was aware of the charges pending against him and the
significance of the trial. Bonistalli did not recall any
significant participation from the defendant during the trial
Church's testimony related to about a two-week period, as
she joined the defense team just a week before trial. Church
testified that, in conversations with Bonistalli, the
defendant insisted he did not commit the crime, but was
instead at Franklin Park. The defendant also went on "
tangents." During trial, the defendant sat silently and
listened. Church concluded that the defendant did not
actively assist in the preparation of the case, but did not
offer an opinion as to the defendant's competency to do
admitted in evidence were reports written by licensed medical
health counsellors Darren Sandler, who, on January 25 and 26,
the two days following the defendant's conviction,
interviewed the defendant at the Massachusetts Correctional
Institution (MCI), Concord; and Carrie [46 N.E.3d 1016]
Holowecki, who evaluated the defendant at MCI,
Souza-Baranowski on January 30. Sandler indicated that the
defendant presented as " calm," "
cooperative," and " euthymic," while Holowecki
reported that, though " nervous," the defendant was
" alert," " oriented," and "
logical," and had " good eye contact." Sandler
reported that the defendant had many legal questions
regarding his appeal and was in " shock" over his
life sentence, remarking that it was "
unbelievable." Neither noted any concern over any mental
health issues until February 13, 2002, when Holowecki, in her
second evaluation of the defendant, recorded that the
defendant was experiencing " some paranoia" but
remained " alert," " oriented," and
Smith, a psychiatrist, testified that she evaluated the
defendant on February 20, 2002. Smith eventually diagnosed
the defendant with schizoaffective disorder, and she was
concerned that the symptoms with which the defendant
presented existed prior to his incarceration. Smith did not
offer an opinion as to the
defendant's competency at the time of ...