Eufemia Abrego was at the Lawrence District Court yesterday showing support or her brother who is facing a Domestic Violence charge involving his wife. The forty five year old Lawrence native approached the victim, her sister-in-law who was sitting on a bench outside of the courtroom. It is alleged that there Abrego told the victim to drop all charges against the accused if she knew what was good for her. This conversation took place twice, the second time in front of a Spanish interpreter. The interpreter however admitted that she never heard the conversation but was told by the victim what Abrego had said. The district attorney’s officer was alerted to the conversation. They contacted a police officer who escorted Abrego out of the courthouse and arrested her. Abrego was charged with Intimidation of a Witness.
Massachusetts Threatening to Commit a Crime Defense Attorney
The Massachusetts Witness Intimidation Statute is set out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 13B. The statute says that anyone who deliberately threatens a witness in a criminal case is guilty of witness intimidation. This crime is a felony and is punishable by up to ten years in state prison. Witness intimidation is taken very seriously in Massachusetts and Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers are seeing more and more of these cases being prosecuted. The Abrego situation is different from the majority of cases that my office has recently defended. Abrego’s alleged activity took place in a courthouse and was witnessed, at least in part by someone not related to the litigants. The more common Witness Intimidation case in Massachusetts now involves threats made through Facebook or texting, especially among teenagers and younger people. Social media preserves the threats or perceived threats and makes the district attorney’s decision to prosecute much easier than it had been in the past. The problem however still lies with proving that the accused is the person who sent the threatening message. Sharing cell phones, smart phones and computers tends to complicate the prosecutor’s efforts of establishing who in fact sent the unlawful communication. We have successfully defended countless cases where the threats came from someone other than the defendant but who had access to the defendant’s device.
Witness Intimidation charges are often associated with Domestic Violence cases such as here. These cases are highly charged emotional matters that can lead to an unfortunate lack of self-restraint. Where there are witnesses to the incident accompanied by a confession such as with Ms. Abrego, efforts at resolving the case short of trial will likely be sought. Cases like this one can be continued without a finding or pretrial probation can be imposed so Abrego will be best served by having an experienced lawyer represent her.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman defends cases like this one. If you are in trouble you need a lawyer. Call us at 617-263-6800 or email us with any questions. Start your defense now with our office.