Articles Posted in Self Defense

According to The Lawrence Eagle Tribune Ed Manzi, 47, of 125 Windkist Farm Road North Andover Massachusetts was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault and battery, possession of a firearm, malicious destruction of property, intimidation of a witness and related offenses as a result of an incident with his girlfriend, Catherine Lambert. Manzi teaches in Tewksbury Massachusetts and has been suspended from his position without pay as a result of these charges.

Before the altercation the pair and their baby were at Ipswich River Park when Manzi drove off without them. Manzi’s attorney, Anthony Rozzi of Haverhill Massachusetts, maintained that Manzi left the park because Patricia was drinking alcohol in the park. According to the Tribune, when Lambert was packing Manzi’s clothes in a basket he punched her in the face and then struck her in the head with a computer speaker and monitor. She ran to get her mother, Patricia Lambert, who was outside riding a horse.

According to court documents, Patricia Lambert reported that when she asked Manzi to give her the baby he punched her in the face knocking her to the floor. When she stood up, Manzi allegedly took a semi-automatic pistol from her pocket and hit her on the head with it. While hitting her, a live round ejected from the gun. Lambert claims that Manzi hit her on the head and pulled the trigger numerous times. After the gun misfired, Manzi left the area and discarded the gun on Boston Street.

The defense paints a much different picture of the incident. Attorney Rozzi claims that the defendant acted in self-defense. Rozzi maintains that Manzi client was upset because Catherine Lambert was allegedly drinking alcohol at the park. According to the Tribune, Rozzi said there was some pushing and shoving at the couple’s apartment, but Catherine fell over their computer table and which caused her injuries.

Following the hearing the defendant was held without bail pending the outcome of a “dangerousness hearing” scheduled for March 23, 2009. During a dangerousness hearing the District Attorney’s Office is expected to present evidence that Manzi poses a threat to the community and should be held without bail until the case is resolved. Based on the facts of this case, it appears that the defendant will begin to mount its claim of self-defense.

When an individual is charged with assault and battery, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon or any other violent offense, self-defense is often a viable claim. In Massachusetts, in order to receive a jury instruction on self-defense the facts must indicate that the defendant must have reasonably believed that he or she was immediately about to be attacked or that his or her personal safety was in immediate danger. The individual must also have done everything that would be considered reasonable to avoid physical combat before resorting to force and must use no more force that was reasonably necessary in the circumstance to defend himself or herself. If self-defense is properly asserted during the trial, the instruction will also indicate that the District Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense

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There was not a dry eye in the audience when a Norfolk County Jury convicted Ryan Bois for the death of a six year old Weymouth girl. According to the Boston Globe, in a courtroom filled with emotion, Judge Janet Sanders told a packed courtroom that this was the “worst she has seen in her fourteen years a a judge” before she imposed four life term sentences. Bois was convicted for the rape, murder and kidnapping of his six year old cousin, Joanna Mullin. According to news reports, the trial lasted six days and the jury deliberated for 8 hours before convicting Bois of first-degree murder, two counts of rape, home invasion, kidnapping, larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny under $250, malicious destruction of property under $250, failure to stop for a police officer and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

During the trial the defense maintained that Bois, 22 years old, was not guilty by reason of insanity. According to the Boston Globe, the Norfolk County prosecutor countered claiming that Bois’s action were calculated when he raped his young cousin, wrapped her body in bed sheets and a quilt, stole keys to his grandmother’s sport utility vehicle, and put the body in the back seat. The prosecutor presented evidence indicating that after committing this horrific crime, Bois called an acquaintance to get some drugs and during this conversation asked the acquaintance how to dispose of a body.

Understandably unable to listen to the details that led up to their daughter’s death Mullins parents stayed away during the trial. However, many relatives and friends attended the trial at the Norfolk Superior Court located in Dedham, Massachusetts. After the jury returned the guilty verdict the prosecutor read the victim impact statement that Joanna’s parents prepared.