Sep 26

Commonwealth v. M.S.

Commonwealth v. M.S.

The victim was walking home from Temple University late one night when three men suddenly ambushed him and robbed him at gunpoint, stealing a cell phone and cash. Police developed M.S. as a suspect and he was subsequently placed in a photo array and identified by the victim. The victim then picked M.S. out of an in-person lineup. M.S. rejected the Commonwealth’s pretrial “offer” of 5-10 years in jail and opted for a trial. Prior to trial, the defense successfully argued to the judge that certain prejudicial evidence should not be permitted to be introduced to the jury, including a facebook photograph allegedly depicting M.S. holding a gun, as well as evidence that he had been a fugitive for over 6 months. At trial, the defense attacked the identifications made by the victim, demonstrated the inherent unreliability of eyewitness identifications during cross examination of the witnesses, and challenged the overall quality of the police investigation. M.S. was acquitted of all charges.

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