Commonwealth v. PiantedosiAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty and declined to exercise its authority to order a new trial or to reduce the murder conviction to a lesser degree of guilt under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E. The court held (1) the trial judge did not err in refusing to permit a defense expert to testify on direct examination to hearsay statements made by Defendant; (2) the trial court did not err in introducing testimony by the Commonwealth’s expert concerning what “drove” Defendant to kill the victim; and (3) the Mutina instruction the judge gave in this case was proper and did not create a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice.