On November 14,
2008 a Somerville man and a Medford man got into a fight in Ball
Square. The Medford man told the Somerville man that he would see him
in twenty minutes. Soon afterwards the Medford man along with his
father and another relative went to Somerville with a twelve inch metal
pipe and a knife. The men forced their way over the threshold
and into the apartment occupied by the man, his 27-year-old wife and
their three children. The victim was able to push his attackers back
onto his front porch where the fight continued. The victim was
eventually overpowered by the three men at which time his wife came to
his aid with a kitchen knife. It was reported that there were
significant signs of a struggle, blood spatter and other evidence at
the crime scene. Evidence was collected and taken to the crime lab.
All three suspects had blood on their clothing. Read article, Somerville News, November 19, 2008.
Armed home invasion in Massachusetts is
a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 18C. That
statute reads that any who enters someone’s home knowing that someone
is present while armed with a dangerous weapon and uses force or
threatens the use of force upon the occupants shall be punished for a
minimum 20 years and for up to life in prison. The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association website references three court opinions rendered in the past four years that address some nuances in this law.
1. A defendant may be charged and convicted under G.L.
c. 265, §18C of multiple counts (one for each victim) of home invasion,
even if there is only one unlawful entry, since the purpose of the
statute is to protect the assaulted victims.
2. The dwelling place of another for purposes
of the home invasion statute refers to a person’s place of habitation,
which is a question of occupancy, not ownership interest.
3. An entry for purposes of the home invasion statute occurs when there is any intrusion into a protected enclosure by any part of a defendant’s body.
crime of home invasion is among the most serious in Massachusetts as
indicated by the mandatory sentence that will be imposed upon a
conviction. It is critical that if you are charged with a crime like
this you engage an experienced Massachusetts violent crimes defense lawyer immediately.