Commonwealth v. AshfordAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant's conviction of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, 10(n), holding that the holding in Commonwealth v. Brown, 479 Mass. 600 (2018) that the Commonwealth must prove Defendant knew that the gun was loaded in order to establish a violation of the statute, applies retroactively to cases on collateral review.
Defendant was convicted of several crimes and of a sentencing enhancement for two prior violent crimes under the Massachusetts armed career criminal act (ACCA), Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, 10G. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of conviction under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, 10(n) and vacated so much of the judgment of conviction as pertains to the predicate offense of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon as to the ACCA charge, holding (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction of carrying a loaded firearm; and (2) for Defendant's conviction of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon to count as a predicate offense for purposes of the ACCA the Commonwealth must use the modified categorical approach to prove Defendant was convicted of such a crime.