November 14, 2018.
received and sworn to in the Essex County Division of the
Juvenile Court Department on July 22, 2015.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August
31, 2015. A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by
Garrett J. McManus, J.
cases were tried before Michael F. Edgerton, J.
S. Crouch for the defendant. Catherine P. Sullivan, Assistant
District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Present: Wolohojian, Hanlon, & Ditkoff, JJ.
defendant, Eliezer Quinones, appeals from Juvenile Court
adjudications as a youthful offender on charges of armed
assault with the intent to murder, G. L. c. 265, § 18
(b), and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon,
G. L. c. 265, § 15A (b). We conclude that, for Miranda
purposes, a juvenile's age must be considered in
determining whether the juvenile was subjected to the
functional equivalent of police questioning. Concluding that
the police officer's advice to the defendant would not be
perceived as interrogation by a reasonable juvenile of the
defendant's age in the same circumstances, we determine
that the judge properly denied a portion of the
defendant's motion to suppress. Further concluding that
there was sufficient evidence to find that the defendant was
the shooter and that he had the requisite intent to murder,
we affirm the adjudications.
Background. On the evening of July 21, 2015, the
victim was shot in the leg while walking down the driveway of
his friend's house in Lynn. He did not see the shooter. A
witness from the neighborhood, who watched the scene unfold
from the porch of his home, "[s]aw a kid ride up on a
bike, drop the bike and pull a gun out." The individual
disappeared behind a building, and the witness heard
gunshots. The witness was unable to see the individual's
face, but he described him as average build, shirtless, and
riding a small, green bicycle.
video footage (video) from a nearby convenience store
revealed an individual whom the jury could have identified as
the defendant riding his bicycle past the convenience store.
That individual, wearing a black shirt, gray shorts, white
socks, and black shoes, rode out of the video frame. Less
than two minutes later, an individual wearing the same shoes,
socks, and shorts emerged biking in the opposite direction.
He appeared to have a black shirt tied around his head,
covering his face. He rode his bicycle across the street, in
the direction of the driveway where the victim was shot. At
the base of the driveway, the individual dropped his bicycle
on the ground and briefly disappeared out of the video frame.
Seconds later, the individual reappeared and ran away, but
returned again to retrieve the bicycle.
promptly arriving at the scene of the shooting, several
police officers began searching the surrounding area. On
Chase Street, the officers found the defendant, who was
sixteen years old at the time, and another male inside a
vehicle with the rear window "fogged up." The
defendant was lying down "in the backseat of the car,
kind of crunched down." He was wearing gray shorts
underneath blue jeans, a black shirt, and black shoes. A
bicycle was on the ground near the vehicle.
officers asked the defendant and the other male what they
were doing and where the owner of the vehicle was, and they
stated that they knew the owner but that he was not there.
After an officer confirmed with the owner of the vehicle that
the defendant and the other male were not authorized to be in
it, police arrested both of them and brought them to the Lynn
police station for booking. The defendant was neither
questioned further nor read his Miranda rights.
spending over one hour at the police station in booking, the
defendant was transported to an alternative lockup in Lowell.
Before leaving the station, the defendant asked the
transporting officer why he was being locked up. The officer
answered and gave the defendant advice about "the
negative things that the streets bring to people." The
officer advised the defendant to "clean up his
act," as otherwise "he's going to wind up in
serious trouble." The defendant said "something in
the lines of people are going to feel sorry when he comes
out, relating t[hat] he had been proving himself." The
officer then advised the defendant "to just get out
completely. There's nothing positive about the life path
that he had chosen." The officer did not ask the
defendant what he meant by his statements.
motion judge granted the portion of the defendant's
motion to suppress related to his statements made at the
vehicle prior to his arrest, but the judge denied so much of
the motion as sought to suppress the statements the defendant
made during transport to Lowell. Although the Commonwealth
conceded that the defendant was in custody at the time of the
transport, the motion judge found that the ...