Commonwealth v. DawsonAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to dismiss the indictments against him charging him with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes, holding that the evidence presented to the grand jury was sufficient to support the indictment.
While Defendant and his friend attempted to rob a taxicab driver the cabdriver shot and killed Defendant's accomplice. A grand jury returned indictments charging Defendant with involuntary manslaughter for the death of his friend. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the common-law limitation on homicide liability set forth in Commonwealth v. Campbell, 7 Allen 541 (1863), extends to the crime of involuntary manslaughter. The trial court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Campbell and its progeny do not preclude an indictment for wanton or reckless involuntary manslaughter where the deceased is killed by someone resisting a felony.