Heard: January 9, 2018.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on
January 23, 2007.
case was tried before John C. Cratsley, J.
Elizabeth A. Billowitz for the defendant.
Julianne Campbell, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Gants, C.J., Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.
defendant, Brian Lee, appeals from his conviction of murder
in the first degree. We affirm.
victim was the defendant's father. Ruth Collins and her
daughter, Caron Collins, had known the defendant for several
years at the time of the homicide. The defendant was friendly
with Caron and had done housework for Ruth. On October 28,
2006, Ruth saw the defendant walk behind her house carrying
white garbage bags. Soon after, the defendant left without
any garbage bags. Ruth and Caron checked the backyard for the
garbage bags. They found white garbage bags in a compost bin,
and inside one of the garbage bags, they found a human head.
When police arrived, officers found two arms and two legs in
the other garbage bags.
reported that she had seen the defendant carrying white
garbage bags behind her house. Police officers learned that
the defendant's father had sought an abuse prevention
order against him three days earlier. Officers went to the
defendant's father's house to check on his safety. In
the house, officers found white garbage bags and a human
torso in a plastic tub. A fingerprint on the tub was later
identified as the defendant's.
same day, the defendant spoke with the police. He told
detectives that he had dismembered his father but not killed
him. The defendant also told police that he had thrown away
his father's mattress, sheets, and blanket because they
were covered in blood. The medical examiner testified that
multiple blows to the head caused the victim's death. The
defendant's medical expert testified that the
victim's death was a homicide.
trial, the defendant represented himself and conferred
with standby counsel. His theory of his defense was that the
Commonwealth did not meet its burden of proof, the police and
medical examiner altered evidence, and the victim was not the