Com. v. Gordon

CourtAppeals Court of Massachusetts
Citation443 N.E.2d 119,15 Mass.App.Ct. 901
Decision Date04 February 1983
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. Geoffrey D. GORDON.

Page 119

443 N.E.2d 119
15 Mass.App.Ct. 901
COMMONWEALTH

v.
Geoffrey D. GORDON.
Appeals Court of Massachusetts,
Middlesex.
Argued Nov. 10, 1982.
Decided Dec. 9, 1982.
Further Appellate Review Granted Feb. 4, 1983.

Page 120

[15 Mass.App.Ct. 902] Evan T. Lawson, Boston (Paul M. Osborne, Boston, with him), for defendant.

Susan C. Mormino, Asst. Dist. Atty., for Commonwealth.

Before ARMSTRONG, CUTTER and SMITH, JJ.

[15 Mass.App.Ct. 901] RESCRIPT.

Gordon was convicted before a jury of six persons in a District Court after an earlier bench trial by a District Court judge. He was charged on separate complaints with (a) operating a motor vehicle negligently so as to endanger the lives and safety of the public, and (b) intentional possession of a class B controlled substance, cocaine. Both complaints arose in the following circumstances, which the jury could have found on the evidence.

On December 2, 1980, two Watertown police officers arrived at the scene of a three-vehicle accident. "The physical evidence indicated that ... [Gordon's] automobile had left the roadway, crossed the curb onto the shoulder of the road, grazed a small building, and entered a parking lot striking a parked automobile pushing it into another parked automobile." The front of Gordon's "automobile was smashed and the windshield was shattered." There was testimony from an officer that Gordon "told him all he could remember about the accident was he reached over to get his briefcase and the next thing he knew the accident happened."

Gordon, "unsteady on his feet" had been injured. His "eyes were unblinking and glassy," his "speech was slurred," and, in one officer's opinion, Gordon "was operating under the influence of 'something.' " He was placed under arrest and taken to the police station, seated alone in the back seat but handcuffed behind his back, with his brief cases beside him. During the ride one officer observed Gordon "turn and reach into one of the briefcases" and "saw a 'dark object' in ... [Gordon's] hand." The officer told him to "keep out of his case and that he could get what he needed at the [police] station." At the police station, the officer "found a vial on the seat behind where ... [Gordon] was sitting." The vial's contents were analyzed and found to contain cocaine.

1. The trial judge, in the circumstances, acted within his discretion in denying severance of the two charges which grew out of one transaction and would be proved by substantially the...

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8 practice notes
  • Com. v. Cass
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • August 16, 1984
    ...v. Burke, 6 Mass.App. 697, 699-700, 383 N.E.2d 76 (1978) ("negligently"). See also Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App. 901, 901-902, 443 N.E.2d 119 (1982) (finding evidence sufficient to warrant a verdict of negligent operation so as to endanger the public), aff'd, 389 Mass. 351, 450 N.E.2......
  • Com. v. Diaz
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • March 16, 1983
    ...S.Ct. 2039, 20 L.Ed.2d 881 (1967). Commonwealth v. Hogg, 4 Mass.App.Ct. 225, 230, 344 N.E.2d 924 (1976). See Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App.Ct. 901, 902, 443 N.E.2d 119 (1982). It is well settled that weaknesses in a chain of custody affect the weight of the evidence rather than its ad......
  • Com. v. Gordon
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 7, 1983
    ...a motor vehicle negligently so that the lives and safety of the public might be endangered, Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App. 901, 443 N.E.2d 119 (1982), we allowed his application for further appellate review. The defendant filed a statement of the evidence with the trial court. After "......
  • Commonwealth v. Shepherd, 21-P-43
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • May 10, 2022
    ...to demonstrate that the defendant operated his vehicle negligently so as to endanger the public. See Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App.Ct. 901, 901 (1982) . Contrast Commonwealth v. Zagwyn, 482 Mass. 1020, 1022 (2019) ("evidence of a broken headlight and a broken license plate light, even......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Com. v. Cass
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • August 16, 1984
    ...v. Burke, 6 Mass.App. 697, 699-700, 383 N.E.2d 76 (1978) ("negligently"). See also Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App. 901, 901-902, 443 N.E.2d 119 (1982) (finding evidence sufficient to warrant a verdict of negligent operation so as to endanger the public), aff'd, 389 Mass. 351, 450 N.E.2......
  • Com. v. Diaz
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • March 16, 1983
    ...S.Ct. 2039, 20 L.Ed.2d 881 (1967). Commonwealth v. Hogg, 4 Mass.App.Ct. 225, 230, 344 N.E.2d 924 (1976). See Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App.Ct. 901, 902, 443 N.E.2d 119 (1982). It is well settled that weaknesses in a chain of custody affect the weight of the evidence rather than its ad......
  • Com. v. Gordon
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 7, 1983
    ...a motor vehicle negligently so that the lives and safety of the public might be endangered, Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App. 901, 443 N.E.2d 119 (1982), we allowed his application for further appellate review. The defendant filed a statement of the evidence with the trial court. After "......
  • Commonwealth v. Shepherd, 21-P-43
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • May 10, 2022
    ...to demonstrate that the defendant operated his vehicle negligently so as to endanger the public. See Commonwealth v. Gordon, 15 Mass.App.Ct. 901, 901 (1982) . Contrast Commonwealth v. Zagwyn, 482 Mass. 1020, 1022 (2019) ("evidence of a broken headlight and a broken license plate light, even......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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