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Anthony P. BAYE.SJC-11044.November 9, 2011. - May 21, 2012.
Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver of constitutionalrights.
Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Waiver.
Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.INDICTMENTS found and returned in the Superior Court Department on February 23, 2010.A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by
Constance M. Sweeney,
J.An application for leave to file an interlocutory appeal was allowed by
J., in the Supreme JudicialCourt for the county of Suffolk.
David P. Hoose
with him) for the defendant.
Brett J. Vottero,
Special Assistant District Attorney (
Thomas H. Townsend & Matthew D. Thomas,
AssistantDistrict Attorneys, with him) for the Commonwealth.Present: Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.LENK, J.The defendant stands indicted on multiple felony counts arising out of a series of arson fires. A judge in theSuperior Court denied the defendant's motion to suppress certain incriminatory statements he made in thecourse of nearly ten hours of police interrogation, and a single justice of this court allowed his subsequentapplication for interlocutory review. The defendant contends that these statements were obtained inviolation of his right to counsel under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and art. 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. He contends further that certain tactics employed by hisinterrogators were sufficiently misleading and coercive so as to render his statements involuntary. For thereasons set forth below, we conclude that the statements should have been suppressed.1.
We recite the facts as found by the motion judge, supplemented by certain undisputedfacts and by our own viewing of a video recording of the interrogation. See
Commonwealth v. Novo,
442Mass. 262, 266 (2004).Between 2 and 3:15 A.M. on December 27, 2009, Northampton suffered a series of fifteen firesconcentrated around the city's third ward, a largely residential area. The fires provoked an emergency thatthe motion judge described as "severe and unprecedented," requiring the activation of regional emergency
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