Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Worcester
Heard: October 11, 2016.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June
cases were tried before Richard T. Tucker, J.
S. Sinsheimer for the defendant.
H. Lazar-Moore, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Gants, C.J., Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.
jury convicted the defendant, William Goddard, of murder in
the first degree on the theory of deliberate
premeditation. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1)
the trial judge erred by permitting the Commonwealth's
expert witness to testify that the defendant had premeditated
the killing, (2) the same expert was impermissibly permitted
to state the basis of her opinion on direct examination, and
(3) the prosecutor made statements not supported by evidence
during closing arguments. We affirm the convictions and
decline to grant relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E.
summarize the facts the jury could have found and reserve
other details for discussion of specific issues. On the
morning of January 28, 2008, the defendant shot and killed
his former girl friend (victim). The victim and the defendant
met in October, 2005, developed a romantic relationship, and
began living together. By August, 2007, their relationship
began to deteriorate, partly because the defendant suspected
the victim was having an affair with her boss. In October,
2007, the relationship between the victim and the defendant
ended when she kicked him out of the house. The defendant did
not take the break up well.
morning of the murder, the defendant arrived in his
automobile at the automotive shop where the victim worked.
The defendant forced an employee at gunpoint to bring him to
the office that the victim shared with her boss.
entering the office, the defendant said to the victim,
"[S]hut up. Don't move. Shut up. Don't
move." The victim responded, "Bill, what are you
doing?" The defendant then shot the victim a single time
in the neck, killing her in a matter of minutes. The
defendant also shot the boss in the left arm; he lay on the
ground to "play dead." The defendant then
attempted to fire the gun a third time, in an unspecified
direction, but his weapon misfired.
hearing the misfire, the employee who had taken the defendant
to the office ran out of the room. The defendant fired
several more times in his direction and in the direction of
three other employees, who were hiding behind a forklift
outside the office. The fleeing employee was able to get
outside, but he slipped on a patch of ice and fell. While he
was on the ground, the defendant caught up to him and again
tried to shoot him, but again, the defendant was unable to
fire the gun. The defendant told the man, "You better
defendant then fled the scene in his vehicle. Minutes later,
a Webster police officer stopped the defendant for speeding
in a construction zone less than one mile from the shop. The
defendant held the steering wheel and stared straight ahead
while the officer reprimanded him, only saying, "Sorry,