Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Broom v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 23, 2019

ELDRICK BROOM, Petitioner,



         In 2013, a jury found Eldrick Broom (“Broom”) guilty of first-degree murder, on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony-murder with aggravated rape as the predicate felony.[1]On June 13, 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) affirmed his conviction. Commonwealth v. Broom, 474 Mass. 486 (2016). On August 31, 2016, Broom petitioned this Court for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”), 28 U.S.C. 2254. (Docket No. 1). Broom alleges the following grounds for relief:

Ground One: The search of his cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment.
Ground Two: The judge's response to the jury's question without consulting counsel violated the Sixth Amendment and warranted a mistrial
Ground Three: “Justice will be better served by ordering a new trial due to multiple trial errors.” Id. at 8.[2]

         For the reasons stated below, Broom's Petition for Habeas Corpus is denied.


         The SJC summarized the evidenced introduced at Broom's trail as follows:

In 2010, the victim, who was from the Dominican Republic and the mother of three children, moved to New Jersey with her newborn baby, Thiago. Shortly thereafter, she relocated to Boston to seek medical treatment for Thiago. Although in July of 2011, the victim's sixteen year old daughter, Navila, joined her mother to help her take care of Thiago, the victim's husband of seventeen years and her other son remained in the Dominican Republic. By the time Navila came to Boston, the victim was living in an apartment on Fairlawn Avenue in the Mattapan section of Boston. In the spring, summer, and early fall of 2011, the defendant lived in an apartment across the hall from the victim. The defendant was living with his fiancée and their children.
The victim spoke very little English, and interacted in a substantive way only with her family members and the medical professionals who were providing services to Thiago. The victim sometimes left her keys in her apartment door at the Fairlawn Avenue apartment, and on three different occasions before the day she was killed, the defendant knocked on the door and returned the keys to her. Navila had never seen her mother and the defendant interact, except for the times he returned the keys and when they exchanged polite greetings as he passed them in the hall. At the end of October, 2011, the defendant and his fiancée, who was pregnant, moved to an apartment on Bismarck Street, which was part of the same apartment complex as the Fairlawn Avenue building. Despite the move, the defendant sometimes returned to the steps of the Fairlawn Avenue building to smoke marijuana at his “normal spot.”
During the afternoon of Sunday, November 20, 2011, Navila and the victim used the online Skype program to talk with family members in the Dominican Republic. Thereafter, Navila, the victim, and Thiago went grocery shopping. When they returned to their apartment around 8 p.m., the defendant was on the front steps of the building. He helped them carry Thiago's carriage and the grocery bags up the steps, but did not enter the building. The family spent the evening alone together. At around 9 p.m., the victim put Thiago to bed. When Navila went to bed at around 10:30 p.m., she remained awake for the next one-half hour. The victim was in the living room using her computer. The bedroom door was open, and Navila heard no unusual sounds. The victim, Navila, and Thiago all slept in the same bedroom. The next morning, November 21, 2011, the victim was asleep in her bed when Navila left for school.
When Navila came home from school at around 2:40 p.m. that day, she found her mother dead on the floor in a bedroom other than the one in which the family slept. The victim was naked from the waist down, her shirt was pulled up around her neck, her bra was pulled down with her left breast exposed, a pair of blue jeans and a blue shirt were lodged underneath her body, and the blue jeans were turned inside out. Two socks and a universal serial bus (USB) cord were tied around the victim's neck; the cause of death was strangulation. The victim's cellular telephone, keys, and underwear were missing.
Navila identified the defendant through a photograph as the only neighbor she ever saw interact with her mother. The police visited the defendant's apartment and spoke to him on November 29. During the interview, which was recorded with his permission, the defendant voluntarily provided the police with a buccal swab. At that time, the defendant said nothing in that interview about any sexual relationship with the victim.
During the initial investigation of the crime scene on November 21, swabs were collected from the jeans and shirt that had been under the victim's body as well as the socks and USB cable from around her neck. Testing performed on swabs collected from the victim's body during an autopsy and on the samples taken from the other items revealed that the defendant's deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was included as being a possible contributor to DNA found on the anorectal swabs taken from the victim, as well as DNA found on stains on her jeans, and her shirt. Based on the Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) testing of a sample taken from the socks that had been used as a ligature, the defendant could not be excluded as a contributor to the mixture.
Cellular site location information (CSLI) associated with the defendant's cellular telephone number for the period from November 1 to December 1, 2011, revealed that on November 21, 2011, the defendant's cellular telephone activated a cell tower located on Clare Avenue in the Roslindale section of Boston at 11:45 a.m. and 3:33 p.m. No. CSLI or telephone activity was generated between 12:22 p.m. and 3:33 p.m. The police obtained the defendant's cellular telephone call detail records of text messages from October 5, 2011, to December 7, 2011, and voice calls from October 1, 2011, to December 4, 2011. The victim's telephone number never appeared in any of the defendant's records.
The police also obtained records for the victim's cellular telephone number from November 18 through 23. The defendant's telephone number was not listed in the call logs associated with the victim's number. The records for November 21 revealed that the victim's voice mail was checked at 10:07 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., and an outgoing call was made at 11:15 a.m. An incoming call at 12:48 p.m. went to voice mail. The records reflect no cellular tower activity thereafter, meaning that the victim's cellular telephone was disabled in some way rendering it inoperable. The occupational therapist who worked with Thiago called the victim's cellular telephone on November 21 at 1:18 p.m. and 1:39 p.m., but received no answer. The victim's computer was last used at 11:17 a.m. that day.
The defendant testified at trial. He stated that he began noticing the victim beginning in June, 2011, found her keys in her door and returned them a few times. When he ran into her in the laundry room, he would give compliments and flirt with her. Sometime in October, the flirtation in the laundry room led to a consensual sexual encounter in her apartment where he performed oral sex on her. He had an additional oral sexual encounter with the victim in her apartment before he moved to Bismarck Street. According to the defendant, his last sexual encounter with the victim occurred on November 20, the night before the murder. He observed the victim outside the apartment building with her children at around 8:30 to 8:40 p.m. and helped them with the stroller. He asked the victim if he could speak to her, but she did not say anything. Approximately ten to fifteen minutes later, he went inside the building and knocked on the victim's door. She opened the door, looked at him, and closed the door. He went back out to the front stairs. After another ten to fifteen minutes, she returned to where he was sitting and led him to the couch in her apartment. He performed oral sex on her, which led to ...

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.