Articles Posted in Perjury

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Five people from the towns of Salem, Wakefield, Peabody and Revere, Massachusetts have been charged in the Boston Municipal Court with Conspiracy, Subornation of Perjury, Obstruction of Justice and Corrpution of a Witness after testifying for friends on Massachusetts Fraud Case. According to a report on the Salem News, William Penta of Salem, Massachusetts, Deanna Pistone of Wakefield, Massachusetts, Laura Battista of Revere, Massachusetts and Janet Vaccari and David Forlizzi of Peabody, Massachusetts have been charged with trying lying on an Insurance Fraud trial in Boston several months ago. Both Forlizzi and Fred Battista were charged with committing Insurance Fraud. Prosecutors alleged that the two filed falsified insurance claims arising from fictitious automobile crashes. Pistone, Vaccari and Penta initially cooperated against the other two and were subpoenaed to testify against Battista and Forlizzi at trial. It is now alleged that during the trial Laura Battista, Vaccari and Penta provided perjured testimony.

As a result of concerns with the defendants trial testimonies an investigation was initiated. Prosecutors learned that David Forlizzi had paid money to Vaccari during the trial and prior to the trial. The article suggests that some of that money was used to keep Deanna Pistone from testifying. Forlizzi has been charged with Subornation of Perjury, Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice and Corrupting a Witness as has Vaccari. Penta and Laura Battista have been charged with three of the four counts. Pistone has been charged with Perjury, Obstruction and Conspiracy.

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Boston Fraud Defense Law Firm

I would imagine that these cases will be indicted and prosecuted in the Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston. Nothing troubles judges more than an illicit manipulation of the legal system. As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer I have been defending the accused and fighting against such actions for over twenty years. That is in essence what criminal defense lawyers do on a daily basis. We fight against lying police officers and lying civilian witnesses. We expose people who improperly manipulate the criminal legal system. I agree that anyone who commits such acts should be prosecuted. That includes police officers and civilian witnesses who commit perjury and testify falsely against innocent people. The problem is that all too often prosecutors ignore such crimes when the people fabricating evidence do so against the accused. Don’t get me wrong. There are district attorneys refuse to prosecute cases supported by suspect evidence or by witnesses who lack credibility. But too often this is overlooked. This is why your choice of a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer might be the most important decision of your life. We take the time to investigate all witnesses before trial to ensure that their lies will be exposed.

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Jonathan Ngarambe of Salem, Massachusetts was summonsed as an Essex County juror. During the impanelment process on a Massachusetts Rape Case, Ngarambe lied to the judge. On two occasions the judge asked the prospective jurors if anyone knew any of the defendants. Ngarambe never made clear that he did in fact know three of the four defendants and that he went to school with these men. The district attorney prosecuting the case saw Ngarambe making eye contact with one of the rape trial defendants. He found out that Ngarambe had contact with another defendant in the courthouse the morning the trial was scheduled to start. Ngarambe was questioned by the trial judge and denied knowing the defendants. A 2008 Salem Massachusetts High School yearbook confirmed that the suspect was classmates with some of the defendants. One of the defendants is Facebook friends with him. Ngarambe has been charged with Witness Intimidation, Obstruction of Justice and Perjury. He will be prosecuted in the Essex County Superior Court in Salem. Authorities contend that Ngarambe wanted to get seated on the jury to help his friends get acquitted.

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Salem Criminal Defense Lawyer

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 13B sets out the law for Intimidation of a Witness or Obstruction of Justice in Massachusetts. As relevant to this case, the law states that anyone who “misleads, intimidates or harasses another person” i.e. a police officer faces up to ten years in prison after a conviction. This law also provides for the same punishment for anyone who tries to improperly manipulate a jury. There is also a house of correction sentence available for someone charged with this crime and both the district court and superior court have jurisdiction over this crime. In this case, recognizing the severity of the attempted obstruction the district attorney opted to indict this case. I would imagine that the prosecutor in this case is looking for state prison time if he gets a conviction.

This case aside, one of the things that concerns me most about this law is its subjectivity. If a police office questions a witness and is not satisfied with his or her answer the possibility of an obstruction charge looms. This is another reason why I always advise my clients not to talk to the police. Nothing good can come from it. Talking to the police without the presence of counsel puts you at risk for some sort of criminal charge, even if you have not committed a crime. Make sure you consult with a lawyer before you ever talk to the police. My office has defended people charged with this crime who never would have been had they simply not spoken to the police. If the police want to talk to you, call a lawyer.

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Charline Rosemond was found dead on April 13, 2009 in Somerville, Massachusetts. She ahd gone missing five days earlier. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to her head. Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney were investigating her death. The prosecution believes that Dokens Joseph has information of value to their investigation. According to reports “Joseph is a significant witness in the case and it is alleged that he knowingly provided false material information to a Grand Jury during this investigation.” Because authorities believed that he provided false information under oath Joseph has been charged with two counts of perjury. He was arraigned in the Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn. Bail was set at $100,000 cash.

Massachusetts Man Charged With Perjury In Connection With Murder Case

Massachusetts Perjury Laws are set out in G.L. c. 268 Section 1. The law states that anyone who lies in a judicial proceeding “to the issue or point in question” or “wilfully swears or affirms falsely” in a matter requiring an oath is guilty of perjury. If the crime is a capital crime there is a potential life sentence that can be imposed. The fact that perjury was charged in this case shows the seriousness with which prosecutors in Massachusetts take a person’s obligation to testify truthfully. Any attempts to subvert an investigation through perjury will likely be charged as a criminal offense.

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The Boston Herald reports today that a Massachusetts State Trooper may have committed perjury while testifying at a drunk driving trial in the Quincy District Court.   During cross-examination at a November 24th trial the trooper, Kathleen Carney denied that she was facing any potential disciplinary action.  In fact, Trooper Carney was being investigated for allegations of brutality involving a 35 year old Quincy woman whom Carney had arrested in August of 2008.  Boston Herald writer Jessica Van Sack reported that after a December 1, 2008 hearing Trooper Kathleen Carney was placed on restrictive duty pending a continuing investigation of the brutality charges. 

The following day Carney appeared in the Quincy District Court again in connection with another drunk driving charge.  The prosecution however refused to call her as a witness and the case was dismissed.  At this time it appears that Norfolk County prosecutors will not call Carney to testify on any of their cases on which she is a potential witness.

Perjury in Massachusetts is a crime pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 1.  In essence, anyone who lies in a judicial proceeding about a matter material to the issue in question is guilty of perjury.  There is a potential 20 year prison sentence if you are convicted of this crime.  The lie for the purposes of the perjury statute is material if it tends in a reasonable degree to affect some aspect or result of the inquiry.  The lie or false testimony does not have to influence a pertinent determination.  Rather, when viewed objectively the testimony must have a reasonable and natural tendency to do so.  Massachusetts courts have held that falsehoods going to credibility of a witness may at times figure as material for purposes of the crime of perjury. 

In cases where the prosecution relies exclusively on the testimony of a police officer there is nothing more devastating to the defense than a lying cop.  Drunk driving cases are typically presented by placing one or two police officers on the stand.  The officers will usually testify that some sort of erratic driving caught their eye causing them to effectuate a stop of the vehicle.  When they approach the vehicle they smell alcohol and ask the suspect to perform some field sobriety tests.  If the person fails in their opinion they are arrested and asked if they want to take a breathalyzer test.  Many times this test is not taken by the suspect and the prosecution’s case rests solely on the officer’s observations.  In those cases, the credibility of the officer is material to the success of the prosecution. 

In many of my drunk driving cases my clients are simply not drunk or impaired by legal standards.  The officers who make the arrests are not familiar with my client’s speech patterns, physically limitations or social habits.  Thus, their objective observations even if truthful may be flawed.  Simply put, they might be incorrect in their assessment of my client’s sobriety.  On the other hand, if possible I will call people who were with my client at the time of the incident to offer testimony about his or her lack of impairment.  Sometimes these witnesses share with the jury personal characteristics about the client that show why someone might incorrectly attribute intoxication to their inability to adequately perform field sobriety tests.  When a case is handled fairly by the prosecution the jury can weigh the competing testimonies.  Typically they are asked to decide whether to believe the police officer who probably has no dealings with the defendant or friends or family members who know whether or not the defendant was actually impaired.  There is no place in justice for lying cops.  In my opinion they are far more dangerous and criminal than the “drunk driver” who they have arrested.  Kudos to the defense attorney who exposed Carney’s abuses and to the prosecutors who refuse to prosecute cases tainted by her arrests. 

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In 1993 Dr. Linda Goudey was found murdered in her car parked in the Stoneham Hospital parking lot.  The cause of death was manual strangulation.  Her boyfriend at the time, Dr. Timothy Stryker has been a suspect in the killing ever since.  Today, in accordance with a press release issued by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office Stryker has been indicted on seven counts of subornation of perjury and two additional criminal counts. 

The press release reports that a in June of 2006 a civil jury returned a verdict of more than seven million dollars in favor of the Goudey family against the doctor for the wrongful death of Goudey.  Nine months later Stryker filed a motion for a new trial claiming that a witness saw Goudey shortly before she was killed with a blonde haired man who looked like Boomer Esiason and nothing like Stryker.  It took this witness thirteen years to come forward with this evidence. 

Later in 2007 the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office called this witness, Craig Pizzano to appear before a grand jury investigating the 1993 murder.  Pizzano conceded that he was engaged by Stryker and another to give this story.  Pizzano was supposed to receive money from Stryker for his efforts once the civil judgment was set aside.

Subornation of perjury is proscribed by G.L. c. 268 sec. 2.  It is satisfied when the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has procured the commission of perjury.  The crime of perjury is defined by G.L. c. 268 sec. 1. In Massachusetts the prosecution must do more than simply show that the defendant’s testimony was false.  It must also show that the false testimony was material to any matter under investigation by the grand jury.  See Commonwealth v. Kelley, 33 Mass.App.Ct. 934 (1992).   The penalties authorized for convictions of subornation of perjury are the same those applicable to perjury convictions. 

The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is a Boston, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Law Firm that has defended criminal matters involving perjury allegations in murder cases and other criminal matters in Massachusetts.  To discuss your rights call our office now. 

Related Web Resources:

Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office Press Release.

Dr. Stryker faces perjury charge in girlfriend’s death.  Boston.com July 22, 2008.

Contact The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman today.