Today’s Brockton Enterprise reports that Patrice Moorer, a Taunton, Massachusetts woman has been indicted on allegations that she lied to a Plymouth County Grand Jury in a Murder Case. The alleged misleading information provided by Moorer relates back to a November 2009 murder in Brockton. In the early morning hours four people were shot at a Hess Gas Station. One of the victims succumbed to his wounds. A day after the shooting Moorer was interviewed by the police and summonsed to testify before a grand jury. She provided testimony at that proceeding. Subsequently, in 2010, Moorer spoke with state police again. This past September she was again summonsed to testify before the grand jury. She did only this time her testimony changed. Authorities then charged Moorer with Perjury and Intimidation of a Witness. Her case is pending in the Brockton Superior Court.
Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, Perjury, Intimidation of a Witness
The Massachusetts Witness Intimidation statute, M.G.L. c. 268 Section 13B includes what is commonly known as the crime of Obstruction of Justice. Among other things this statute makes it a crime for anyone to lie to a police officer who is investigating a case or to lie to a grand jury. This crime is a felony. It is punishable by up to ten years in state prison and a five thousand dollar fine. It is not clear from this article whether the basis for the charges against Moorer stem from allegations that she lied to the state police investigating the murder or lies to the grand jury or both. What is clear however is that she has some tremendous exposure.
As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer I see cases like this one becoming more prevalent. District attorneys now indict this conduct more frequently. They do so for several reasons. They want to send a message to people that misleading an investigation, particularly one of this magnitude will not be tolerated. Perhaps more importantly these cases get filed to “squeeze” the witness into providing more accurate information regarding their knowledge of the crime. I would imagine that law enforcement believes that Moorer has some significant knowledge either of the events or people who might have been involved in the crime. The threat of ten years in jail looming over her might be incentive enough for her to cooperate in exchange for some sort of leniency in her pending case. This again however is a perfect example of how speaking to the police without hiring a lawyer can get you into big trouble. Always err on the side of caution and consult with a lawyer before talking to the police. Some basic advice can save you the problems that Moorer is facing.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC is committed to defending the accused. There is a defense to every crime. Our office is dedicated to working with you and employing the defense that will provide you with the best outcome. Call us at 617-263-6800 or send us an email if you are in trouble. We want to help you with your case.