Commonwealth v. UptonAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and armed assault in a dwelling house, holding that there was no Brady violation and that the superior court judge did not err in denying Defendant's second motion for a new trial without an evidentiary hearing on the matter.
On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that newly discovered evidence of later contradictory testimony by the Commonwealth's key witness proved that the prosecution failed to disclose a plea agreement at the time of trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed and declined to exercise its authority under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to reduce or set aside the verdict on the murder conviction, holding (1) the judge did not err in finding that Defendant's evidence of a Brady violation did not create a substantial issue warranting an evidentiary hearing; (2) the judge did not abuse his discretion in finding that there was no undisclosed plea deal that would require granting Defendant's second motion for a new trial; and (3) the verdict of murder in the first degree is consonant with justice.