Yesterday afternoon there was a shootout in the parking lot of a WalMart store in Avon, Massachusetts. Police have not yet disclosed the nature of the incident or its details yet three Brockton residents have been arrested. Ashley Weiner, Keenen Hart and Keshawne Murphy have all been charged with Possession of a Firearm and Conspiracy to Violate the Massachusetts Controlled Substances (Drug) Laws. Keenen, who was shot during the incident, was charged with Disorderly Person in addition to the other two charges. Weiner is also facing a charge of Carrying a Firearm and Murphy must defend a count of Discharging a Firearm near a highway as well as Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon. The cases are being prosecuted in the Stoughton District Court.
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Despite the absence of certain information in this article one thing appears clear. Murphy shot Hart. It is Murphy alone who is charged with Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon. So it makes that at least for now the police believe that he shot Hart. The basis for this charge is not clear. It would make more sense if Murphy had been charged with Carrying a Firearm rather than Possession of a Firearm. There is a distinct legal difference between these two crimes. Carrying a Firearm in Massachusetts is a felony under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10(a). That statute holds that anyone carrying a firearm without being properly licensed to do so must serve at least eighteen months in the house of correction or a state prison. There is another subsection to G.L. c. 269 §10 that does not require a mandatory jail sentence, that being G.L. c. 269 §10(h). The district attorney alone decides how to charge these cases. Usually, someone who is caught physically holding a gun is charged under 10(a), the mandatory minimum portion of the statute. Someone who is near someone with a gun and whom the prosecution thinks knew that the person had a gun gets charged under 10(h). I would have imagined that in this case Murphy, not Weiner would have been charged under 10(a). This can be explained perhaps after the shooting Weiner picked up the gun and concealed it to protect the shooter.
As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer, the Massachusetts Drug Conspiracy Charge always intrigues me. Anytime someone is “around” drugs yet not actually in physical possession of the drugs he or she gets charged with Conspiracy. The suggestion is that people who involve themselves with drug users or drug dealers in Massachusetts must be enabling them or facilitating their efforts so they must be charged as well. I can tell you that very few Drug Conspiracy cases in Massachusetts result in convictions particularly where the accused is represented by an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney.
Anyone who has to go to court for a criminal charge needs a lawyer. The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is dedicated to defending the accused. We are exclusively a criminal defense law firm. Call us at 617-263-6800 or email our office if you are in trouble. We can help you.