Heard: November 9, 2018
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March
28, 2006. The case was tried before Margaret R. Hinkle, J.,
and a motion for a new trial, filed on May 15, 2015, was
considered by Christine M. Roach, J.
H. Pumphrey for the defendant.
K. Anderson, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.
convicted the defendant, Fredys Alexander Chicas, of murder
in the first degree by extreme atrocity or cruelty as a joint
venturer for the killing of the victim. We consolidated the
defendant's direct appeal with his appeal from the denial
of his motion for a new trial. On appeal, the defendant
contends that (1) he was denied his constitutional right to
confront witnesses when the judge prohibited him from
cross-examining several of the Commonwealth's witnesses
on their citizenship statuses; and (2) the use of multiple
interpreters by the judge violated his constitutional right
to due process.
reasons stated infra, we affirm the defendant's
conviction and the denial of the defendant's motion for a
new trial. After a thorough review of the record, we also
decline to exercise our authority under G. L. c. 278, §
33E, to grant a new trial or to reduce the verdict of murder
in the first degree.
summarize the facts that the jury could have found, reserving
pertinent facts for the discussion of the defendant's
arguments. On Christmas Eve in 2005, the victim and the
defendant attended a party at Jose Castillo's house in
Chelsea. At some point in the evening, the victim, who was
intoxicated, made inappropriate comments to the
defendant's girl friend, Catea Travassas, and her sister,
Lisette Santos. The victim also touched Travassas's
buttocks. The defendant intervened and implored the victim
not to disrespect Travassas.Eventually, tempers boiled
over and the defendant punched the victim in the face. The
fight escalated and other partygoers got involved, including
the defendant's coventurer, Jesus Villanueva. The men
brought the victim outside the house, where they hit him with
bottles of beer.
the fight, the victim ran away. He returned a short time
later looking for his cellular telephone. He was not allowed
back into the house, and a few men, including the defendant,
went outside and began to kick the victim. As a result, the
victim left and returned again. He started smashing
Castillo's vehicle with rocks, a bottle, and a stick. The
defendant and Villanueva confronted the victim. The defendant
was armed with a baseball bat. The defendant beat the victim
with the bat, and Villanueva kicked him. The victim ran away,
but the defendant and Villanueva pursued him. The men caught
the victim in a parking lot that was one and one-half blocks
away. The defendant and Villanueva beat him with the bat and
a stick then "left [him] . . . [a]11 bloodied on the
ten to fifteen minutes later, the defendant and Villanueva
returned to the party with blood on their clothing. Castillo
gave the defendant clean clothes and told him to change. The
defendant stated: "I killed him"; "[w]e killed
[him]"; and "don't talk about this." When
Santos started crying, the defendant responded, "You
don't have to be crying for that mother fucker."
he changed his clothes, the defendant, Villanueva, the
sisters, and another partygoer, Ricardo Mendoza, left the
party. On the way to Mendoza's house, the defendant
stopped his vehicle underneath a nearby bridge to retrieve
the baseball bat used against the victim. The defendant was
concerned that his fingerprints were on the bat. The
defendant gave the bat to Mendoza and told him to hide it at
his residence. The defendant threatened Santos, telling her
that he would run her over if she told the police what had
defendant and Villanueva then returned to the parking lot.
Upon arriving, the men realized that the victim was alive.
The victim was speaking and moving. For the next ten minutes,
the defendant hit the victim on the back and Villanueva hit
him on the head. The defendant later told ...