Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Insane String of Legal Decisions Pulls Brockton Man in and Out of Prison

On December 21, 2023, it was reported that a Brockton man had been arraigned on a murder charge. This isn’t particularly out of the ordinary, as Brockton is “not one of the safest communities in America,” according to However, when one looks into this case in more detail, it is anything but ordinary.  

Brockton Man Spends Four Months Out of Prison Before Being Accused of Murder

This individual had apparently experienced just four months of freedom before new murder charges, having previously been sentenced to nine years for involuntary manslaughter and firearms offenses back in 2021. These charges stemmed from a 2013 incident involving the death of an individual in Brockton. 

However, the defendant spent just a few years behind bars, as he received credit for time served. To complicate matters even further, he won an appeal in 2016 after initially being charged with manslaughter. As a result of this appeal, his convictions for manslaughter and firearms offenses were reversed by the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2019. 

Why did the Appeals Court reverse the decision? Because the judge denied his motion to suppress the portion of his interrogation after he clearly stated he was “done answering questions.” The Appeals Court found that the defendant was exercising his right to remain silent and that the trial judge should have suppressed the later portion of the interrogation as requested. Although he was set for a new trial, the defendant eventually decided to plead guilty and was then sentenced in 2021. He spent about a year longer in prison before being released in early 2022. 

Four months later, he allegedly became involved in the fatal shooting of another Brockton resident. Police say that after an investigation, they obtained an arrest warrant for the defendant. He was eventually taken into custody and charged with murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, possessing a firearm without a license, and possessing ammunition without a license. What happens next is anyone’s guess. 

Research this defendant’s history a little more, and you’ll find even more back-and-forth legal decisions. In 2009 – before his manslaughter incident – he was convicted of trafficking cocaine. One of the key witnesses in his trial was state drug lab chemist Annie Dookhan, who was later accused of mishandling 60,000 drug samples. Although the defendant was initially sentenced to five years in prison (minus time served), he walked out of prison in the wake of the drug lab scandal. The drug samples used to convict him had been destroyed by 2012, and his petition for a new trial led to his sentence being vacated. However, his freedom was short-lived – as he spent just six months on the outside before being incarcerated for the 2013 manslaughter incident. 

Due to this defendant’s incredible ability to escape serious terms in prison, it is difficult to predict with any accuracy whether these new charges will “stick.”