Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Attempted Murder
Leo lived in a multifamily house in East Boston and a neighbor who lived downstairs had borrowed some money from his parents. The neighbor moved away without paying back the money. When Leo learned where his old neighbor now lived, he went to his house to collect the money owed to his parents. There was an altercation and the old neighbor ended up stabbed in his chest. Leo was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.
The neighbor claimed to the police, that Leo had come to his house demanding drugs, and when he had told him he had no drugs, Leo stabbed him. Leo claimed that when he went to the man’s house to collect the debt for his parents, the man told him that he was going to the kitchen to get the money and instead he came back with a knife and swung the knife at Leo. Leo, in his defense, grabbed the man’s hand with the knife, pushing it away from him, and it stabbed the man’s chest. Leo ran away because he was scared.
Leo’s family hired attorney FitzGerald for assistance. Attorney FitzGerald prepared a judicial order demanding the production of the neighbor’s medical records. When he reviewed them along with the police reports and the statements of the neighbor, he saw a number of inconsistencies. The way the wound to the chest was made was consistent with a hand holding a knife and being turned back towards the body in self-defense, as opposed to the type of wound that would have been produced if Leo, who was right handed, had plunged the knife directly into the neighbor’s chest. When the case went to trial, the jury heard testimony from both the neighbor and Leo, as well as arguments from the prosecutor and attorney FitzGerald, the latter of which included information about the wound, the medical records, and the neighbor’s prior criminal and drug convictions. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty in favor of Leo.