Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Commonwealth v. Alden

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex

June 21, 2018

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MATTHEW G. ALDEN, JR.

          Heard: March 8, 2018.

          Complaint received and sworn to in the Marlborough Division of the District Court Department on January 20, 2015, The case was tried before Michael L. Fabbri, J.

          Luke Rosseel for the defendant.

          Erin D. Knight, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

          Present: Green, C.J., Kinder, & Henry, JJ.

          KINDER, J.

         Following a jury trial in the District Court, the defendant, Matthew G. Alden, Jr., was convicted of intimidating a witness by sending her threatening text messages in violation of G. L. c. 268, § 13B. On appeal, the defendant claims (1) evidence regarding the text messages was improperly admitted, (2) the judge incorrectly instructed the jury regarding the Commonwealth's burden of proof, and (3) the evidence was not sufficient to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We affirm.

         Background.

         We summarize the facts the jury could have found, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. See Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 676-677 (1979). The victim in the case, E.B., was the defendant's former girl friend. At the time of trial, she had known the defendant for at least five years. In January, 2015, there was a criminal case pending against the defendant, in which E.B. was a potential witness. On January 19, 2015, E.B. reported to the police that she was receiving threatening text messages from someone she believed to be the defendant. The messages were received from the telephone number E.B. had used to communicate with the defendant by text messages and telephone calls every few days for over one year.

         The messages threatened that, if E.B. "went to court[, she would] be sorry[, ] and that [the defendant] would have people come after [her] if [she] went to court." More specifically, "[o]ne of [the messages] told [E.B.] to keep her hoe ass mouth shut. [Another] implied that she should kill herself and she should do it tonight." An additional text message stated that E.B. should "leave their personal stuff out of the courtroom and that if she opened her mouth it'd be the worst thing she tried to do -- . . . or the biggest mistake she ever made." E.B. believed the text messages referred to her role as a witness in the criminal case then pending against the defendant.

         The defendant testified that at the time the threatening messages were received by E.B., he and his new girl friend had been living with his aunt for "[a] couple of months." The defendant and his mother testified that the cellular telephone (cell phone) associated with the number from which the threatening messages were received was not owned by the defendant. According to the defendant, his aunt had purchased the cell phone, but it was shared with the defendant and at least six other people who lived at his aunt's residence.[1] The cell phone was not password protected and remained at the aunt's house for use by its residents. The defendant denied sending the threatening text messages to E.B. He testified that, at the time the text messages were sent, he was at the mall and did not have the cell phone with him. Finally, the defendant testified that his new girl friend did not like E.B.

         Discussion.

         1. Evidentiary issues.

         a. Authentication ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.