Framingham Murder Suspect Indicted By Middlesex County Grand Jury

Yesterday’s Metrowest Daily News reported that Kevin Porter of Stowe, Massachusetts was indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury for the June 24, 2008 murder of Jeffrey Weaver.  Porter was also charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.  The Middlesex County District Attorney’s office press release provided little information on this case. 

Porter was initially arraigned in the Framingham District Court on June 25, 2008, one day after the murder.  During the arraignment, Porter’s defense lawyer argued that Porter acted in self-defense.  The prosecution claimed that Porter stabbed Weaver during a fight.  The defense contended that Weaver attacked Porter with a baseball bat, his fists and a chair.  Porter was held on $250,000 cash bail.  Read Article, Metrowest Daily News June 25, 2008.

Murder in Massachusetts is proscribed by G.L. c. 265 sec. 1.  It is punishable by life in prison.  If convicted of first degree murder in Massachusetts there are no sentencing options for judges.  The law states that the convicted person must serve the remainder of his natural life in prison.  Second degree murder in Massachusetts is also punishable by life in prison.  However, if convicted of second degree murder you are eligible for parole in 15 years.  Rarely do people get paroled when first eligible on murder convictions.  The average sentence for second degree murder in Massachusetts is over 22 years in state prison. 
These days most Massachusetts courthouses are flooded with murder cases.  It is not uncommon for 3 or 4 murder trials to occur simultaneously in the Suffolk Superior Court.  These trials are often the most lengthy superior court trials.  Sometimes impaneling a jury alone can take several days.  This typically occurs when the details of the case have been in the news.  Juries are frequently taken on buses during murder trials to the crime scene on what lawyers call “views”.  During the view lawyers alert jurors to specific objects, buildings, streets or houses that will be discussed through witness testimony during trial.  Views are designed to assist the jury’s understanding of the events that occurred during the crime.  G.L. c. 234 sec. 35 permits judges in criminal cases to order views. Defendants have no right to accompany juries on views.  Defendants who are in custody are sometimes allowed to go to the view provided they remain in a police car.  Usually defendants who are in custody at the time of trial opt not to go on the view so that they are not seen by the jury shackled or in police custody. 
Our office has handled murder cases for over 20 years.  If you have been charged with murder and want to discuss your case contact our office now.  Your call will be answered and you will have the opportunity to speak with an attorney. 
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Murder Defense Attorney, Kathleen M. McCarthy, former homicide prosecutor