Just before 5:00 a.m. yesterday a Lawrence, Massachusetts resident was awakened by some commotion in the street. The unidentified individual looked outside and saw a man holding a gun in his hand. The man, Richard Anthony then fired four to six shots in the air and placed the weapon back in his pants. The witness called the police and gave a description of Anthony who was arrested minutes later. Police found a .32 caliber handgun in the residence where Anthony was found as well as several shell casings in the street. Anthony will be charged with carrying a firearm, discharging a firearm within five hundred feet of a building and unlawful possession of ammunition. He will be arraigned in the Lawrence District Court later today.
So how is the district attorney going to prove Anthony guilty of the firearms charges? The easiest way is to get the eyewitness who called the police to come into court and testify against him. This however is not always realistic. People, particularly those who live in the inner city, are often reluctant to reveal their identity and go to court to testify against someone. People do not want to get involved with the police or court system. They do not want discord in their neighborhoods. They ultimately choose to avoid testifying rather than create conflict for themselves. So what else can the district attorney do? Perhaps the police checked Anthony for gunshot residue. If they did and the test is positive they have their proof. If not their task of convicting Anthony becomes more daunting. He was not found in possession of the firearm and there were other people present in the home where the weapon was found. They too were charged with crimes and it is doubtful that they will testify against their friend. Convicting Anthony might be more difficult than you might think when reading this article.
Attorney Stephen Neyman has successfully defended firearms case in Massachusetts for over twenty years. We have won these cases at trial, through motions to suppress and through motions to dismiss. If you have been charged with a crime in Massachusetts call us now at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.