Commonwealth v. PearsonAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated some of Defendant's convictions, holding that the case must be remanded for an evidentiary hearing as to Defendant's motion to suppress and a determination as to whether the first prong of the independent source exception to the exclusionary rule applied.
Following two separate jury trials in the Superior Court in Norfolk County and Middlesex County Defendant was convicted of multiple offenses stemming from a burglary spree. Before trial, Defendant moved to suppress evidence seized from his residence during the execution of a search warrant, asserting that the warrant was tainted by discoveries made during an earlier unlawful entry of his residence. The motion judges agreed that the initial entry was unauthorized but that, pursuant to the independent source rule, the evidence was exempt from exclusion as "fruit of the poisonous tree." The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant's Middlesex convictions with the exception of his conviction for intimidation of a witness, holding that because the matter of whether the evidence demonstrated that the detective would not have sought the warrant had the officers not made the initial illegal entry, the matter must be remanded for an evidentiary hearing.