Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Plymouth
Heard: May 10, 2019.
Homicide. Evidence, Prior misconduct, Inflammatory evidence,
Identification. Identification. Practice, Criminal,
Instructions to jury, Mistrial, Capital case.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April
5, 2010. The cases were tried before Thomas F. McGuire, Jr.,
J. Black for the defendant.
Anderson, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Present: Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.
convicted the defendant, Kyle Bryant, of murder in the first
degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation for the
killing of Darnell Harrison (victim),  On appeal, the
defendant contends that the judge erred when he allowed the
Commonwealth to introduce prior bad act evidence that showed
the defendant was a drug dealer, denied the defendant's
request for an eyewitness identification jury instruction,
and denied the defendant's motion for a mistrial.
reasons stated below, we affirm the defendant's
convictions. 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 or set aside 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
defendant was a drug dealer who, along with his associates,
Peterson Fleury and Tremaine Hampton, sold drugs from a bar.
Approximately two months prior to the killing, Fleury sold
$1, 200 of the defendant's drugs to Sean Cox and was
given $1, 100 in counterfeit money. The defendant was angry that
he had been deceived. He told Hampton that he was "gonna
get" the person who stole from him.
January 5, 2010, the victim and Cox were at the bar. Fleury,
who frequented the bar, briefly talked to the victim and Cox
and then telephoned the defendant eight times between 5:36
P.M. and 6:07 P.M. Fleury told the defendant that Cox and the
victim were at the bar.
approximately 6 P.M., the victim and Cox left through the
rear of the bar to smoke a cigarette. Shortly thereafter, an
individual in a dark, hooded sweatshirt approached Cox and
the victim and shot them. The victim stumbled back into the
bar and collapsed. After Fleury saw the victim lying on the
floor of the bar, he telephoned the defendant again. Cox
survived the shooting, but the victim did not.
after the shooting, the defendant arrived at the home of
Pamela Brown, who lived in an apartment behind the bar and
had purchased drugs from the defendant in the past. The
defendant banged on her door. Brown thought that strange
because the defendant always telephoned her before arriving
at her apartment, but he did not do so that day. Once inside,
the defendant ran to the bathroom, where he rinsed off his
sweatshirt and hung it on the door. Later, he placed the
sweatshirt in a plastic bag. The defendant then telephoned
Hampton and instructed him to go to the bar to see if police
had arrived, but Hampton did not go.
after the shooting, the defendant's girlfriend arrived at
Brown's apartment. The defendant put the plastic bag
holding his sweatshirt in his girlfriend's vehicle and
placed an unidentified object under the passenger's side
seat. The defendant's girlfriend drove away.
later, Hampton and the defendant met in person, where the
defendant confessed to being the shooter. The defendant
repeatedly asked Hampton, "Can I trust you?" The
defendant stated: "[The victim] couldn't make it to