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Commonwealth v. Mattier

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk

May 2, 2016

Commonwealth
v.
Branden E. Mattier ( No. 1)

          Argued January 7, 2016

           Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August 29, 2013.

         A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Kenneth W. Salinger, J.; the cases were tried before Jeffrey A. Locke, J.; and a motion for stay of execution of sentence was considered by Locke, J.

         A motion for stay of execution of sentence filed in the Supreme Judicial Court was referred to Spina, J., and was considered by him.

          Rebecca A. Jacobstein, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant.

          Randall E. Ravitz, Assistant Attorney General ( Gina Masotta, Assistant Attorney General, with him) for the Commonwealth.

         Present: Gants, C.J., Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.

          OPINION

          [49 N.E.3d 228] Hines, J.

          The defendant, Branden E. Mattier, was convicted by a jury on three indictments charging conspiracy, G. L. c. 274, § 7; attempted larceny, G. L. c. 274, § 6; and identity fraud, G. L. c. 266, § 37E, respectively. The charges stemmed from an attempt by the defendant and his half-brother to defraud One Fund Boston, Inc. (One Fund),[1] of approximately $2 million by claiming that a long-deceased aunt had been injured in the 2013 bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The judge imposed a State prison sentence of from three years to three years and one day on

Page 228

the conspiracy charge and concurrent sentences of three years' probation for the attempted larceny and identity fraud charges, to run from and after the committed sentence.

         The defendant appealed from his convictions and filed in the trial court a motion for stay of the execution of his sentence pending appeal. The judge denied the motion. After his appeal was docketed in the Appeals Court, the defendant filed a motion for stay of the execution of the sentence in that court. We granted the defendant's application for direct appellate review of his appeal, and thereafter, the defendant filed a motion for stay in this court. The matter was referred to a single justice, who denied the motion. The defendant filed this appeal from the single justice's order, together with a motion for an expedited ruling.[2] In response to the defendant's motion for an expedited ruling on his appeal from the single justice's order denying the stay, we now address separately the merits of that aspect of his appeal.

          Analysis.

          We review the single justice's order denying a motion for stay to determine (1) " whether the single justice committed error of law in declining to make an independent exercise of discretion on the issue of the stay of execution, in place of that made by the trial judge" ; and (2) whether the single justice erred in ruling that the trial judge's action on the motion to stay was not an abuse of discretion. Commonwealth v. Hodge (No. 1), 380 Mass. 851, 852, 406 N.E.2d 1010 (1980). The single justice and the trial judge, as they were entitled to ...


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