Commonwealth v. FragataAnnotate this Case
After setting forth the factors the Commonwealth must prove to convict a defendant of witness intimidation under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 268, 13B(1)(c)(i), the Supreme Judicial Court held that the evidence was insufficient to support Defendant’s conviction under the Commonwealth’s theory that Defendant violated section 13B(1)(c)(i) by taking away the alleged victim’s cellular telephone to prevent her from calling 911 for help after he had verbally assaulted her.
Defendant was convicted of intimidating a witness in violation of section 13B. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction under section 13B(1)(c)(i) because no view of the evidence would have allowed the jury to conclude that he had committed any crime before he took the victim’s cellular telephone. The Supreme Judicial Court agreed, holding (1) to convict a defendant of witness intimidation under the central provision at issue here, the Commonwealth must prove four elements; and (2) as applied in this case, the evidence was insufficient to support Defendant’s conviction on the theory argued by the Commonwealth at trial.