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. Ryan

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex

June 28, 2018

COMMONWEALTH
v.
KATHERINE L. RYAN

          Heard: March 1, 2018.

         Complaints received and sworn to in the Marlborough Division of the District Court Department on January 8 and 14, 2015.

         The cases were tried before Michael L. Fabbri, J.

          Cory S. Arter for the defendant.

          Lindsay Russell, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

          Present: Green, C.J., Sacks, & Shin, JJ.

          SHIN, J.

         A jury convicted the defendant of assault and battery causing bodily injury on a person sixty years of age or older, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 13K(b), and larceny of property with a value exceeding $250 from a person sixty years of age or older, in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 30(5). On appeal she argues that the Commonwealth failed to prove that the victim suffered a "bodily injury" within the meaning of G. L. c. 265, § 13K(b), that her larceny conviction cannot stand because the Commonwealth failed to disprove her claim of honest yet mistaken belief, that the prosecutor misstated the evidence in his closing argument, and that her trial counsel was ineffective. Construing the term "bodily injury," defined in G. L. c. 265, § 13K(a.), as an injury that considerably or significantly compromises the usual functioning of any part of a victim's body, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's conviction under § 13K(b). As we also reject the defendant's remaining arguments, we affirm.

         Background.

         We summarize the evidence and the reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. See Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 676-677 (1979). The victim was born in 1936 and met the defendant in 2007. Their relationship started as a romantic one but evolved into "a friendship type thing." Throughout the course of their relationship, the defendant often stayed at the victim's home, sometimes up to a week at a time.

         From November of 2013 to January of 2015, the victim noticed that there were unauthorized withdrawals and other transactions on each of his monthly debit card statements. In total, the unauthorized charges amounted to several thousand dollars. The victim had not given the defendant permission to use his card during this period[1] and questioned her multiple times about the charges, telling her that he "was getting behind on his bills." Each time, the defendant admitted using the card but said that she did so only after checking the account balance to ensure that enough funds were available.

         On December 12, 2014, while at the defendant's apartment, the victim again questioned her about the money missing from his account. As the victim was preparing to leave, the defendant "blindsided" him and hit him from behind with a "tremendous . . . blow," causing him to fall to the hardwood floor. The victim "was in great pain" and felt "a burning sensation in the lower back and . . . hip area." He spent two to three hours at the hospital, where he was diagnosed with an elbow abrasion and hip contusion and was prescribed pain medication. Although hospital staff wanted him to use a walker, the victim declined because he wanted to stay as "mobile as [he] possibly could."

         In mid- to late December of 2014, the victim's neighbor observed that he "seemed to be deteriorating as far as walking"; he "was limping a lot," "seemed to be in a lot of pain," and "would take . . . about [fifteen] minutes to get up [a twenty- foot] driveway." According to the neighbor, the victim did not exhibit these symptoms during the first half of the month. An officer investigating the incident in late December of 2014 likewise observed that the victim "was very slow, had a limp, [and] looked like he was injured." Ultimately, it took several weeks before the victim's pain subsided and he started regaining mobility on his injured side.

         D ...


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.