Commonwealth v. FernandesAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditated and armed assault with intent to murder, affirmed the denial of Defendant’s motion for postconviction relief, and declined to exercise its authority under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to reduce or set aside the verdict of murder in the first degree. The court held (1) Defendant’s constitutional right to a public trial was not violated by the trial judge’s order limiting courtroom entry only to attendees whose names were submitted and approved; (2) there was sufficient evidence to support a finding of joint venture; (3) the prosecutor did not commit misconduct in his closing argument; and (4) the trial judge did not err in instructing the jury about cooperating witnesses.