Com. v. Quigley

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBefore HENNESSEY; NOLAN
Citation462 N.E.2d 92,391 Mass. 461
Decision Date14 March 1984

Page 92

462 N.E.2d 92
391 Mass. 461

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts,
Argued Dec. 8, 1983.
Decided March 14, 1984.

Page 93

Peter G. DeGelleke, Bedford, for defendant.

Stephen R. Kaplan, Sp. Asst. Dist. Atty. (Phillip L. Weiner, Asst. Dist. Atty., with him), for the Commonwealth.


NOLAN, Justice.

The defendant, Mark E. Quigley, was indicted for the murder of Lawrence W. Tremblay, who died as a result of an incident on March 7, 1980. After a trial by jury, he was found guilty of murder in the second degree on November 24, 1980. His appeal was entered in the Appeals Court. A motion [391 Mass. 462] for new trial was filed on June 4, 1982, and was heard on September 7, 1982, and on November 15, 1982. The motion was denied with a memorandum of decision filed on November 23, 1982. The defendant's motion to consolidate his direct appeal with the appeal from the denial of the motion for new trial was allowed. We granted the defendant's application for direct appellate review.

The defendant claims to be aggrieved by the following errors: (1) the denial of his motion to suppress an inculpatory statement; (2) an intemperate final argument by the prosecutor; and (3) misapplication of the felony-murder rule in the judge's charge, and its effect on the Commonwealth's burden of proof of malice.

The jury could have found that at or about 1 P.M. on March 7, 1980, the defendant went to a bar in Taunton with Robert Jones and Gerry Shaw. The victim was at the bar. After playing pool for a while, the defendant, the victim, Jones, and Shaw went to Middleboro in the defendant's motor vehicle where they picked up Lisa Burrell, Jones' girl friend. On the return trip to Taunton, they stopped at a package store where the victim bought some beer. All the men had been drinking except Jones. The victim and Shaw, who were in the back seat, started to quarrel about a woman to whom both had become attentive. In an area of Taunton known for its strawberry fields, the defendant stopped the automobile after learning that the victim had vomited on the rear seat. He was angry and threatened reprisal, but at the moment the defendant was more concerned about a defect under the hood of his automobile. While he and Jones examined the engine, the victim and Shaw had a fist fight at the rear of the automobile. The

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victim was knocked to the ground. The defendant went to the rear of the automobile, picked up the victim and hit him in the head. As the victim lay on the ground, the defendant kicked him in the temple and cheekbone, then dropped to his knees and delivered approximately a dozen blows to the victim's head. Shaw and Jones finally persuaded him to stop. To keep the interior of the automobile from becoming any more soiled (the victim was covered with blood), they dumped the victim, who was then mumbling, in the trunk. He moaned intermittently while the defendant drove the others [391 Mass. 463] to his apartment. The volume of the automobile radio drowned out the victim's moans. After driving into Taunton to a friend's apartment, they went to St. Joseph's cemetery in Raynham and carried the victim to a place near a gravestone. He was still alive. Before leaving the cemetery, the defendant decided to take whatever money the victim had and returned to the victim, took his wallet, removed the money, put the wallet back in the victim's pocket, and kicked the victim a few times. They drove to the defendant's apartment. It was then about 4 P.M. They ate supper and had a party.

On the following morning, March 8, 1980, at approximately 7:45 A.M., the Raynham police received a telephone call about a body at St. Joseph's cemetery. The police went to the cemetery and on finding the wallet which contained the victim's driver's license, among other things, identified the body. As a result of their investigation, the police arrested the defendant later in the morning.

There was evidence from the testimony of the pathologist that the victim might have survived the multiple beatings and kickings if he had been given medical attention instead of being abandoned in the cemetery.

1. Motion to suppress. At the suppression hearing, the police officers who drove the defendant to the police station and interrogated him testified, as did the defendant and his father, who came to the police station and remained there during the interrogation. In his findings, the judge noted that the "credibility of the various witnesses seems to be a critical issue for my determination." It follows inescapably from his denial of the defendant's motion to suppress that he believed the officer who testified that the defendant was given Miranda warnings, understood them, and waived them voluntarily and intelligently, thereafter giving an inculpatory statement. See Commonwealth v. Correia, 381 Mass. 65, 76, 407 N.E.2d 1216 (1980). In the absence of subsidiary findings on the issue of credibility, we assume that the judge's determination was adverse to the losing party (in this case the defendant). The judge's ultimate conclusion, however, may be reviewed because it involves the...

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  • Com. v. Carrion
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • April 17, 1990
    ...935, 108 S.Ct. 311, 98 L.Ed.2d 270 (1987). Commonwealth v. Adrey, 397 Mass. 751, 753-754, 493 N.E.2d 875 (1986). Commonwealth v. Quigley, 391 Mass. 461, 467, 462 N.E.2d 92, cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1115, 105 S.Ct. 2356, 86 L.Ed.2d 258 (1984). The defendant objects to the judge's embellishment......
  • Com. v. Sinnott
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 13, 1987
    ...on the very "acts of personal violence which constitute a necessary part of the homicide itself." Commonwealth Page 708 v. Quigley, 391 Mass. 461, 466, 462 N.E.2d 92 (1984). In Quigley we held that "aggravated battery toward the deceased will not do [as the conduct which constitutes the fel......
  • Com. v. Gordon
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    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 10, 1996
    ...the felony was independent of Carrion's homicide. Commonwealth v. Ortiz, supra at 466-467, 560 N.E.2d 698. See Commonwealth v. Quigley, 391 Mass. 461, 465-466, 462 N.E.2d 92 (1984), cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1115, 105 S.Ct. 2356, 86 L.Ed.2d 258 In addition to the requirement that the deaths oc......
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    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 22, 2018
    ...of the homicide, ... aggravated battery toward the deceased will not do for felony murder." (quoting Commonwealth v. Quigley , 391 Mass. 461, 462 N.E.2d 92, 95 (1984) )); see also id. at 558 ("The felony that eliminates the quality of the intent must be one that is independent of the homici......
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