Commonwealth v. BillingsleaAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and the decision of the Appeals Court denying Defendant's motion to vacate the entry of his appeal from his convictions in that court and to have the case entered directly in the Supreme Judicial Court, holding that a direct appeal from the third conviction of a habitual offender pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 279, 25(b) may be entered in the Appeals Court.
Defendant was indicted for serious felonies arising from a brutal attack and rape. In addition to charging the specific felony, each indictment also alleged that the sentence for that felony should be enhanced pursuant to the habitual criminal provision Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 279, 25(a) or the habitual offender provision of section 25(b), or both. After he was convicted, Defendant moved to have the case entered directly in the Supreme Judicial Court. The Appeals Court denied the motion. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions, holding (1) this direct appeal was entitled to the unique review prescribed by Mass Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E, and the Appeals Court may conduct such section 33E review; (2) Defendant was not impermissibly allowed to waive his right to a jury trial on the sentencing enhancement provisions of the indictments; and (3) Defendant was not entitled to reversal of his convictions on any other ground.