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Posts Tagged ‘attorney’

Teacher Arrested for DUI in South Kingstown

23 Sep

ABC6 has learned that a teacher at Western Hills Middle School in Cranston was arrested last month for DUI.

Dan Burns, an English teacher there, was arrested by South Kingstown Police officers after they noticed him speeding. After stopping him, they administered field sobriety tests which he failed – at one point during the tests, according to the police report, he shrugged his shoulders and said “I’m ****ed up, I can’t do these anymore.”

ABC6 Reporter Malini Basu has the story from Cranston, where parents want Burns gone from the school.

http://ww.abc6.com/Global/story.asp?S=13200873

http://ww.abc6.com/global/Category.asp?c=178006&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5134140&flvUri=&partnerclipid=

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

South Kingstown Felony Gun Charges Released on Bail

19 Sep

NARRAGANSETT

Woman faces gun charges after shooting

A South Kingstown woman faces felony gun charges after another woman reported being shot at while driving on Route 108 between 2 and 3 a.m. Wednesday, Narragansett police said Thursday.

Detective Lt. William F. McGovern said the suspect, Miriah K. Longa, and the victim, whom he did not name, knew each other.

South Kingstown police officers went to Longa’s home on Pond Street at 3:45 a.m. She was cooperative, South Kingstown police Capt. Jeffrey Allen said, telling them where to find the 9mm handgun. She was charged with possession of a weapon without a permit, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

McGovern said evidence from the victim’s vehicle indicated that a bullet entered the vehicle from the tailgate, struck the back and middle seats and hit the rearview mirror.

Longa was released on $10,000 surety bail.

http://www.projo.com/news/content/police_digest_10_09-10-10_BMJRF3I_v11.2384289.html

Providence Journal By DONITA NAYLOR

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

First Degree Sexual Assault Rape

08 Sep

A Providence, Rhode Island police officer on Wednesday was sentenced to 60 years, 40 of them in prison, for raping a woman in 2007, officials said.

Marcus Huffman, a suspended 13-year police force veteran, was found guilty of first degree sexual assault against a female who was then only 19 years old.

On March 18, 2007, Huffman was on duty when he noticed that a girl was denied access to the Providence nightclub “Platforms.” Bouncers denied the entrance to the teenager because she was intoxicated.

Huffman offered her a ride home which she accepted. The 19 year-old Massachusetts’ woman passed out in the patrol car and Huffman drove her to the District 2 police substation. Video surveillance ratifies that the pair entered the substation that night.

The teenager woke up at the substation with her pants, underwear and bra on the floor next to her. The Providence law enforcement agent also left DNA evidence on the victim’s underwear. He alleged that the sexual encounter was consensual.

The victim and her father claimed that it was rape because she would have never agreed to have sexual intercourse due to the fact that she is a lesbian.

After the sexual assault she went to a nearby family member’s house. They called 911 and shortly after three policemen, including Huffman showed up to take a complaint about the alleged incident.

In the report, Huffman did not mention that he encountered the victim earlier that night. The police officer has been suspended without pay because of the felony sexual assault charge.
By BNO News
Copyright 2010 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved.

http://wireupdate.com/local/providence-ri-police-officer-sentenced-to-60-years-for-raping-a-woman/

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

Drug Trafficking Paraphernalia, Marijuana, Cocaine, Percocets

02 Sep

CRANSTON, R.I. –

Cranston police have seized $500,000 worth of marijuana, cocaine and Percocet tablets.

In a news release, police said a motor vehicle stop last week raised suspicion, and led police on the investigation.

Police conducted a search warrant of 57 Perkins Ave. on Tuesday night and found 203 pounds of marijuana, 164 grams of cocaine, Percocet tablets and other drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Officers from Cranston, East Providence and Seekonk arrested 28-year-old Jeffry Batres at a motel in Seekonk.

Source: NBC 10 Rhode Island By Dave Goblaskas
Published: September 01, 2010

http://www2.turnto10.com/news/2010/sep/01/police-seize-nearly-half-million-dollars-worth-dru-ar-218279/

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

DUI Crackdown 21 Arrested

25 Aug

Drunk-driving crackdown nets 21

01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, August 24, 2010

By DONITA NAYLOR

Journal Staff Writer
The first weekend of “You Drink & Drive, You Lose” resulted in at least 21 arrests statewide, traffic safety and law enforcement officials said Monday.

“If you are going to enjoy yourself during the last several weeks of the summer, make sure you’re not going to drink and then operate a motor vehicle,” said Rick Sullivan, summing up the end-of-summer push to reduce drug- and alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

Sullivan, the state’s law-enforcement highway safety coordinator and a former Providence police chief, said results will be available Sept. 6 from the campaign that started Friday.

Impaired driving “is a big problem in Rhode Island,” Sullivan said. “You can’t let up on it. You have to have high-intensity efforts and coordination between departments.”

Early results from the weekend show that Providence police arrested six drivers; Cranston, six; the Rhode Island State Police, seven; and South Kingstown, four, on charges that included driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

State police arrests included: Friday, Philip Bertoncini, 54, of 38 Columbia Ave., Pawtucket, and Bernardo Gabriel, 29, of 142 Fisk St., Providence; Saturday, Manuel Sousa, 37, of 148 Ohio Ave., Providence, and Erik J. Eacker, 35, of 830 South Rd., East Greenwich; Sunday, Brian Kennedy, 24, of 19 Priscilla Rd., Brighton, Mass., Benjamin Beaumier, 35, of 26 Craigie Ave., Johnston, and Orlando Duarte, age 50, of 415 Lonsdale Ave., Pawtucket.

Four arrests by Cranston police were reported in Sunday’s Journal. Two men arrested Sunday were added Monday: Carlos Cifuentes Jr., 24, of 46 Carolina Ave., Providence, and Andre Fernando Gonsalves, 28, of 115 Killingly St., Providence.

South Kingstown averages about five drunk-driving arrests a week, Capt. Jeffrey Allen said Monday. The four arrested this weekend were: Friday, William P. Lord, 52, of 693 Rose Hill Rd., South Kingstown; Saturday, Daniel T. Burns III, 48, of 22 Kingston Ave, South Kingstown, and Christopher D. Guertin, 47, of 1643 Kingstown Rd., South Kingstown; and Sunday, Martin A. McSally, 48, of 109 Breakwater Rd., South Kingstown.

The state’s law-enforcement agencies share $403,000 in federal grants to add patrols devoted to charging impaired drivers, said Charles St. Martin, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The Massachusetts State Police sent a mobile Breath Alcohol Testing vehicle to support the Rhode Island efforts. The BAT vehicle, which can measure the alcohol level of two or three suspects at a time, was parked Saturday night at Richmond and Friendship streets in Providence for visibility, Sullivan said.

DUI

With reports from Kate Bramson and Maria Armental

Projo.com By DONITA NAYLOR
Journal Staff Writer

http://www.projo.com/news/content/WEEKEND_DRUNK_DRIVING_08-24-10_SIJL7DL_v21.237f8c4.html

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

Not Guilty Rape Charges for URI Students

30 Jul

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — A jury on Thursday afternoon found two University of Rhode Island students not guilty of the sexual assault of a woman in a dormitory in 2008.

The jury foreman announced the verdict in Washington County Superior Court shortly after 3:30 p.m.

The jury began its deliberations about 2:05 p.m.

As the jury assembled to render its decision before Judge Edwin J. Gale, the defendants were teary-eyed, bowing their heads. But moments later Estifanos Gizaw was hugging his lawyer, Robert Caron, and Yaw Peprah shook the hand of his lawyer, Roy Fowler.

Peprah, of Lincoln, and Gizaw, of South Kingstown, had been accused of first-degree sexual assault of the woman between midnight and 2 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2008. The Journal does not identify those who officials say are victims of sex crimes.

In his closing argument Thursday, Fowler suggested to the jury that the woman who accused his client and Gizaw had been ashamed or embarrassed about having had sex with both men and engaging in a sex act with a woman the night of a party in the dorm.

Fowler suggested that “morning-after syndrome” lay behind her actions.

While the woman has said she could not move when she was in the bedroom where the assaults are said to have occurred, Fowler said, “it defies reason” that a person who was seen on video camera walking up and down the dormitory stairs with others at the party late that night would “all of a sudden, at the moment of sexual intercourse” no longer be able to move her body.

She did not scream for help or dial 911 or attempt to leave the dorm suite that night, Fowler told the jury.

Robert Caron, lawyer for Gizaw, recounted the testimony of Marisa Cherry, who attended the party that night and said that she and another woman entered the bedroom where the assaults are alleged to have happened.

Cherry said that the alleged victim and Peprah were in bed, and that when asked how she was doing, the woman in the bed said, “I feel so good.”

“Hardly the words of an immobilized victim [the woman] said she was when she testified at trial,” Caron told the jury.

Both defense lawyers also emphasized that a nurse-practitioner testified that there was no bruising or other signs of physical abuse on the woman, and that no semen was found.

Prosecutor Stephen A. Regine said that various witnesses testified about the phrase “Are you okay?” the night of the party. Some were defense witnesses who said the woman was asked that question during that night.

Why did the jury hear that phrase again and again? Regine asked. “Because she wasn’t,” Regine said. “She really, really wasn’t.”

Regine emphasized that state law, as it would be explained by the judge to the jury, does not necessarily require proving physical resistance to a sexual advance or physical evidence that sexual intercourse occurred.

http://newsblog.projo.com/2010/07/jury-starts-deliberations-in-u.html

Providence Journal
By Michael P. McKinney
Journal Staff Writer

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

RI Criminal Defense DUI Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune post news article on Reckless Driving

24 Jul

Driver of car who killed motorcyclist by running red light held without bail
01:00 AM EDT on Friday, July 23, 2010
By Kate Bramson
Journal Staff Writer

SOUTH KINGSTOWN

The Westerly woman accused of running a red light, striking and killing motorcyclist Colin B. Foote in May, has been “battling demons … struggling with a substance-abuse problem” for years, her lawyer said Thursday.

Since the crash, Laura A. Reale, 27, of 19 Summer St., has been free on bail.

But now, because she submitted someone else’s urine for court-ordered drug tests this month to hide her usage, Reale is in prison.

She was ordered held without bail Thursday at the McGrath Judicial Complex in South Kingstown. In four court appearances, two each in District and Superior Court, judges went back and forth over whether to hold her or put her into drug treatment.

Reale was in court with her parents. Foote’s family was also in court — his mother and brother, who witnessed the crash, and his father and grandmother.

After an appearance in each court in the morning, Reale’s lawyer found a drug-treatment program for her during the lunch hour, Michael J. Healey, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said later. The Superior Court judge who earlier had held her, pending such placement, then ordered her released to go to Phoenix House in Exeter, Healey said.

But the prosecution objected, and the case moved back to District Court, he said. A second order there, to hold Reale without bail, then trumped the Superior Court order to release her, Healey said, because the District Court matter was about a past case and the Superior Court issue is current.

Foote’s family was summoned back to court within two hours of the morning’s proceedings –– to learn that Reale could be heading toward a facility that Colin Foote used to make donations to, his father, Richard “Robin” Foote, said later.

When the hearing was over, Reale was sent to the Adult Correctional Institutions.

In a court hallway after the morning’s sessions, Reale’s lawyer, Stephen R. Famiglietti, spoke of his client’s struggles with drug abuse. She had become addicted to the prescription drugs Xanax and OxyContin, he said, and sought help on her own a few years ago.

She has been taking methadone ever since, he said, at a clinic in Westerly. Methadone is used to treat narcotic withdrawal and dependence.

In the 8 ½ years before the crash that took Colin Foote’s life, police and court records show, Reale had 14 speeding tickets, 3 accidents, 6 warnings for speeding and 6 tickets for running stop signs or other moving violations.

Famiglietti said Reale didn’t see the red light she ran on Route 1 in Charlestown the night of the fatal crash. “And if that’s the truth,” he said, “that’s a negligence situation, not a criminal” one.

That night, Famiglietti said, there “was no indication she was under the influence of drugs.”

The police did not test Reale for drug or alcohol use after the crash shortly after 8 p.m. on May 16 –– they had no probable cause to do so, Charlestown Police Chief Jack Shippee said Wednesday afternoon.

Ninety minutes after the crash, Reale gave a witness statement, court records show. When asked if she had anything to drink that night by Detective Kevin T. Kidd, Reale replied, “I took my methadone this morning and I smoked some weed in the morning.”

Said Famiglietti: “In the period of time it would make a difference, she was not using drugs.”

Panic led Reale to submit someone else’s urine for her drug test, Famiglietti told Superior Court Associate Judge Edwin J. Gale, who arraigned Reale in the morning on one count of driving to endanger, death resulting, for which a grand jury indicted her on July 16. Reale entered a plea of not guilty.

While Reale was under court order to submit to drug tests after the felony driving charge, Famiglietti told Gale, she took Xanax and “one toke of pot.” Then “she panicked” and “made a very stupid decision.”

But all of that, Famiglietti stressed in court, had nothing to do with the fatal crash — the reason Reale stood before Gale Thursday.

Gale ordered Reale held without bail until she got into a treatment program, and said that she would then be released on $20,000 bail into treatment. He said she was next due in Superior Court on Sept. 7.

With the click-click of handcuffs, Reale was then restrained. With tears in her eyes, she walked out a side door, pulled along by a deputy sheriff.

The judge called Famiglietti and Special Assistant Attorney General Cindy Soccio to the bench for a conference.

“She’s a wreck today,” he told them as they spoke in hushed tones.

Directly across the hall, minutes later, Reale’s case was called in District Court, before Associate Judge Stephen P. Erickson. She was due before him to face the charge that she violated the probation he had recently set on a marijuana-possession charge filed last August.

The felony driving charge landed Reale before Erickson last month –– and she admitted then that she had violated the terms of that filing, Healey said.

In response, Healey said, Erickson converted the filing to a conviction and gave her a one-year suspended sentence with probation. Violating that sentence is what brought her back to Erickson Thursday.

Reale has been in “active and passive violation” of an order to stay away from drugs, Erickson said from the bench. “She’s been using drugs and taking steps to conceal the use.” He ordered her held without bail.

That was his determination after lunch, too, Healey said, even after Gale had agreed to release her to the drug program.

Reale must return to court on Aug. 4 for a probation-violation hearing. Laura Reale’s driving record

Dec. 11, 2001: Westerly speeding ticket.

March 1, 2002: Rhode Island State Police speeding ticket.

July 27, 2002: Westerly speeding ticket.

Dec. 17, 2002: Westerly speeding ticket, written for traveling 1-10 mph over the speed limit on Bradford Road. The posted speed limit is 35 mph.

April 16, 2004: Westerly ticket for not stopping at a stop sign on Dayton Street.

June 17, 2004: Rhode Island State Police speeding ticket.

Dec. 8, 2005: Westerly Police issued warning for speeding.

Oct. 15, 2006: Westerly speeding ticket, written for traveling 1-10 mph over the speed limit on Tower Street. The posted speed limit is 25 mph.

Nov. 10, 2006: Westerly Police issued warning for speeding.

Jan. 14, 2007: Westerly Police issued warning for speeding.

Jan. 19, 2007: Westerly ticket for driving without proof of insurance and speeding as a result of an accident by 165 Granite St. Reale crossed the center line and hit an oncoming car. No one was injured.

Jan. 25, 2007: Charlestown speeding ticket on Route 1 by Meadow Lane, written for 1-10 mph over speed limit. Charlestown ticket for a brake-light violation.

Feb. 11, 2007: South Kingstown speeding ticket on Route 1; written for traveling 55 in a 50-mph zone; actual speed recorded by the police: 73 mph.

June 10, 2007: Charlestown car accident, at 4016 Old Post Rd. at 314 Narrow Lane. While Reale was traveling south on Old Post Road, her car collided with one that entered the intersection from Narrow Lane. Both cars had substantial damage.

Aug. 4, 2007: South Kingstown speeding ticket, at 3363 Post Rd., written for traveling 60 in a 50-mph zone; actual speed recorded by the police: 75 mph.

Sept. 17, 2007: Charlestown Police issued warning for speeding.

Oct. 1, 2007: South Kingstown speeding ticket on Route 1, written for traveling 60 in a 50-mph zone.

Nov. 11, 2007: Westerly speeding ticket on Post Road, written for traveling 55 in a 50-mph zone; actual speed recorded by the police: 72 mph.

Feb. 20, 2008: Westerly ticket for not stopping at a stop sign on Elm and School streets.

May 17, 2008: Charlestown Police issued warning for speeding.

May 20, 2008: Stonington, Conn., ticket for not wearing seat belt.

May 25, 2008: South Kingstown police issued verbal warning for speeding on Route 1, for traveling 11+ mph over speed limit. No ticket written.

July 23, 2008: Westerly speeding ticket, at 365 Post Rd., written for traveling 61 mph in a 50-mph zone.

Sept. 18, 2008: Traffic Tribunal magistrate “court orders” her license to be suspended for one month. Actual court hearing was Sept. 9, despite Sept. 18 date recorded in her driver’s record.

Oct. 10, 2008: Driver’s license reinstated.

Nov. 25, 2008: Westerly Police issue warning following an accident labeled “her fault” in court documents.

July 29, 2009: Westerly ticket for not stopping at a stop sign on School Street.

Nov. 22, 2009: Stonington, Conn., ticket for not wearing seat belt.

Dec. 15, 2009: Westerly ticket for speeding and not stopping at a stop sign at School Street and Chester Avenue.

April 14, 2010: Westerly Police issued warning for not having a plate light, court records show.

May 16, 2010: The police say Reale ran a stoplight and collided with a motorcyclist who died in the crash.

May 20, 2010: District Court arraignment for driving to endanger, death resulting. Attorney General’s Office spokesman said Reale must undergo drug and alcohol tests and surrender her license and passport.

July 22, 2010: Reale still has a valid driver’s license, according to the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles.

Source: Traffic Tribunal, police records and Reale’s driving record

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony assault or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

Kidnapping, Felony Assault, and Simple Assault upheld

24 Jun

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony assault or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

Supreme Court
No. 2008-161-C.A.
(P2/06-3214A)
State :
v. :
Gabriel Moreno. :
NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before
publication in the Rhode Island Reporter. Readers are requested to
notify the Opinion Analyst, Supreme Court of Rhode Island, 250
Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, at Telephone 222-
3258 of any typographical or other formal errors in order that
corrections may be made before the opinion is published.
- 1 -
Supreme Court
No. 2008-161-C.A.
(P2/06-3214A)
State :
v. :
Gabriel Moreno. :
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.
O P I N I O N
Justice Robinson for the Court. The defendant, Gabriel Moreno, appeals from his
conviction by a jury in the Providence County Superior Court of the following offenses:
kidnapping, felony assault, two counts of simple assault, and interference with the use of a
telephone in an emergency. This case came before the Supreme Court for oral argument
pursuant to an order directing the parties to show cause why the issues raised in this appeal
should not be summarily decided. After examining the written and oral submissions of the
parties, we are of the opinion that the appeal may be resolved without further briefing or
argument. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court
in all respects.
I
Facts and Travel
The allegations of the complaining witness, Danielle Brueske, formed the basis of the
charges against defendant, and she served as one of the prosecution’s primary witnesses at
defendant’s trial. We therefore begin by summarizing the most relevant portions of her trial
testimony.
- 2 -
A
The Relevant Occurrences Prior to July 26, 2006
Danielle Brueske testified that she had met defendant while she was attending Diman
School of Practical Nursing, which is located in southeastern Massachusetts. (She attended that
school from September of 2005 through June of 2006.) She testified that defendant was a
coordinator of the nursing program at the school and that he was also her instructor in some of
her courses. Ms. Brueske further testified that, beginning on July 4, 2006, after she had
completed nursing school, she and defendant began “seeing each other” and that their
relationship quickly became sexual in nature.
Ms. Brueske testified that she had stayed at defendant’s home in East Providence during
the week prior to her taking the nursing board exams (which took place on July 16, 2006).
However, unbeknownst to defendant, immediately thereafter, on July 17, Ms. Brueske resumed
living with her boyfriend, one Jarret Ferreira, who decided at that time to ask Ms. Brueske to
marry him—a proposal which Ms. Brueske accepted. Ms. Brueske characterized her relationship
with her fiancé prior to their engagement as having been “pretty rocky.” Moreover, she testified
that she did not tell either her fiancé or defendant about the existence of the other.1 She did
testify, however, that, in the days immediately following her engagement to Mr. Ferreira, she
told defendant not to contact her.
On July 23, less than a week after they had become engaged, Ms. Brueske and her fiancé
argued, and she again went to stay with defendant. She contended that, at this point in time,
defendant confronted her, stating that he knew she was “lying.” It was her testimony, however,
1 Ms. Brueske admitted during her testimony at trial that she was engaged in a sexual
relationship with both defendant and her fiancé during July of 2006.
- 3 -
that she still did not tell defendant that she was engaged to another man. Nevertheless, according
to Ms. Brueske’s testimony, the July 23 confrontation between defendant and her escalated to the
point that defendant became physical; she testified that he “pinned [her] up against the wall” and
then “pinned [her] on the bed,” not letting her up.
Ms. Brueske testified that, on July 25, after she had argued with Lynn Saucier,2 a friend
who had also been a classmate of hers at Diman School of Practical Nursing (and who also knew
defendant through the nursing school), she went to defendant’s home. Ms. Brueske further
testified that, when defendant came home later that day, he informed her that he knew that she
was engaged to another man, and he stated that he had “spoken with Lynn.” Ms. Brueske
testified that she then informed defendant that things between her and her fiancé “weren’t going
well.”
Ms. Brueske testified that, on that same day (July 25), she told defendant that she was
going to her grandmother’s house; she further testified, however, that in actuality she met up
with a male friend, to whom she referred simply as “Doyle” in her testimony, and that she went
to the movies with him. Ms. Brueske testified that she considered the outing with Doyle to have
been a date. She went on to testify that, after going to the movies together, she and Doyle
engaged in sexual relations in the back seat of his car.
Ms. Brueske testified that, after the late evening date with Doyle, she returned to
defendant’s home at approximately 2:00 a.m. on July 26. She testified that, during her absence,
defendant had called and sent text messages to her cell phone some twenty times. Ms. Brueske
further testified that defendant was waiting for her when she arrived at his home; she stated that
2 In the course of the referenced argument, Lynn Saucier accused Danielle Brueske of
telling people that Ms. Saucier’s husband was “hitting on” her (i.e., Ms. Brueske). Ms. Brueske
testified that, as the argument came to a close, Ms. Saucier told her that their “friendship was
over.”
- 4 -
he said that he knew that she had not gone to her grandmother’s house and that he asked her
where in fact she had gone. Ms. Brueske testified that she told him that she had gone to a beach
for the purpose of thinking; she added that she did not inform him that she had been out on a date
with someone else that night. Ms. Brueske stated that, after that discussion, she and defendant
went to bed.
B
The Events of July 26, 2006
Danielle Brueske testified that defendant left for work at approximately 8:30 a.m. on July
26 and that, after he left, she was unable to locate her cell phone. She further testified that, to her
surprise, defendant returned home at 9:30 a.m. and that, upon his return, he told her that he had
left work “because he couldn’t be without [her].” She stated that defendant told her that “he
knew [she] was lying” about where she had been and that he had taken her cell phone to work.
Ms. Brueske testified that their conversation began in the computer room of defendant’s home,
but that defendant “started pushing [her] back towards his bedroom.” She testified that, once in
the bedroom, he “pushed [her] back onto his bed.” She stated that at that moment she was
clothed only in a towel due to the fact that she had just taken a shower.
Ms. Brueske testified that defendant “held [her] wrists down onto the mattress” and that
he told her that she “was killing him.” She estimated that defendant held her on the bed for
approximately fifteen minutes until he decided to leave the bedroom. Ms. Brueske testified that
she next encountered defendant in the laundry room, where she had gone in order to retrieve her
clothes; she said that she discovered defendant sitting on the floor of the laundry room holding a
butcher knife to his wrist.
- 5 -
Ms. Brueske testified that defendant followed her back into the bedroom and that she
attempted to keep him out by shutting the door; however, defendant was able to force his way
into the bedroom. She further testified that, at that point, defendant informed her that she
“wouldn’t be leaving that day.” Ms. Bruseke testified that, as she tried to use defendant’s phone
to call for assistance, he grabbed the phone out of her hands and removed the battery. She stated
that she next attempted to “get to the window” and to scream for help but that defendant
prevented her from doing so.3 She testified that she fled from the bedroom into the living room
but that defendant proceeded to drag her from the living room into the hallway. Ms. Brueske
then described the struggle with defendant that took place in the hallway; she said that defendant
placed her in a chokehold, causing her to lose consciousness. She further testified that, while
defendant was dragging her back to the bedroom and while she continued to resist him, he
applied another chokehold, and she passed out for a second time.
Ms. Brueske testified that, when she regained consciousness, she found herself in the
bedroom; she described defendant as being “very angry” at that point. She testified that
defendant told her that she was “dead inside and that he was going to take [her] physical life
from [her].” Ms. Brueske described how defendant proceeded to use duct tape to bind her wrists
and her ankles. She stated that defendant then used the duct tape to attach her hands to the
bedpost and her feet to the footboard.
Ms. Brueske further testified that defendant held a pair of scissors to her chest and stated
that he was going to “take [her] heart out because [she] didn’t know how to use it;” she testified
that defendant then pushed the scissors down onto her chest, cutting her skin. She testified that
defendant placed a piece of duct tape over her mouth and then, again using a chokehold, caused
3 Ms. Brueske testified that, at some point prior to her attempt to seek help at the window,
defendant allowed her to put on her clothing.
- 6 -
her to pass out a third time. She further testified that, when she awoke, defendant told her that he
had killed her and that she was “reborn.” Ms. Brueske stated that, using the same scissors with
which he had cut her chest, defendant now cut the duct tape from her wrists—releasing her hands
and injuring her wrists in the process. She stated that she herself then removed the duct tape
from her ankles. She described how defendant then drank a soda, which he stated had “some
medication in it;” she said that he told her that “he was going to drink it and lay [sic] down until
he died.”
Ms. Brueske testified that, later that afternoon, defendant received a phone call from
Lynn Saucier. Ms. Brueske stated that defendant kept his left arm extended across her neck
while he was on the phone with Ms. Saucier; she added that, during that phone call, she “made a
sound or [she] might have said something, and he looked at [her] and he pushed on [her] neck.”
Ms. Brueske stated that, after engaging in the above-referenced phone conversation with
Lynn Saucier, defendant allowed her (i.e., Ms. Brueske) to use his phone to call her father. She
testified that, after that phone call ended, she continued to talk to defendant and that she asked
him to allow her to leave so that she could go to her godmother’s house; she added that
defendant eventually allowed her to do so. Ms. Brueske testified that she left defendant’s home
at approximately 4:00 p.m. and drove to the Dartmouth barracks of the Massachusetts State
Police. (She testified that she went there because she did not know the location of any police
station in Rhode Island.)
Ms. Brueske testified that she wrote out a statement at the police station in Dartmouth
and that soon thereafter detectives from the East Providence Police Department arrived and took
her to the East Providence police station. She testified that she identified defendant’s home for
the East Providence police and that they took a statement from her and photographed her
- 7 -
injuries. The defendant was arrested by the East Providence police at approximately 9:00 p.m.
on July 26, 2006.
The defendant was charged by criminal information with one count of kidnapping; one
count of felony assault (choking with hands); one count of felony assault (the attack with the
scissors); one count of simple assault; and one count of interference with the use of a telephone
in an emergency.4 A jury trial was held in the Providence County Superior Court from
September 12 through September 14 and from September 17 through September 18, 2007. At
the conclusion of the trial, the jury found defendant guilty of one count of kidnapping, one count
of felony assault, two counts of simple assault,5 and one count of interference with the use of a
telephone in an emergency.
On September 28, 2007, the trial justice denied defendant’s motion for a new trial. On
November 20, 2007, defendant was sentenced to two concurrent sentences of twenty years
imprisonment at the Adult Correctional Institutions, with four years to serve, sixteen years
suspended, with sixteen years probation, on the kidnapping and felony assault convictions. The
defendant was additionally sentenced to concurrent one year terms for each of the simple assault
convictions and to a suspended sentence of ninety days imprisonment with respect to his
4 Pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 11-35-14(a), it is a criminal offense for a person to willfully
refuse “to relinquish * * * an individual telephone line or telephone set when he or she knows or
should have known that the * * * individual telephone line or telephone set is needed for an
emergency call to a fire department or police department * * *.”
Section 11-35-14(b)(2) defines “[e]mergency” as “a situation in which property or human
life are in jeopardy and the prompt summoning of aid is essential.”
5 With respect to the felony assault charge relative to choking with hands, the jury found
defendant guilty of the lesser included offense of simple assault. As a result, defendant was
actually convicted of two counts of simple assault and one count of felony assault (viz., the
attack with the scissors).
- 8 -
conviction for interference with the use of a telephone in an emergency. The defendant filed a
timely notice of appeal.
II
Issues on Appeal
The defendant raises three issues on appeal, all of which center around the exclusion by
the trial justice of certain testimony which defense witness Lynn Saucier was prepared to give.6
The defendant contends that the trial justice erred in excluding: (1) testimony by Ms. Saucier
with respect to Danielle Brueske’s reputation for untruthfulness in the community; (2) testimony
by Ms. Saucier that defendant contends would have impeached earlier testimony by Ms.
Brueske, in which she denied having told Ms. Saucier that she was involved in “kinky sex” and
also that her fiancé (Jarret Ferreira) “beat her;” and (3) testimony by Ms. Saucier concerning the
relationship between Ms. Brueske and Doyle.
III
Standard of Review
This Court has frequently stated that “questions as to the admissibility vel non of
evidence are confided to the sound discretion of the trial justice * * *.” State v. Merida, 960 A.2d
228, 234 (R.I. 2008). We have also stated that “this Court will not interfere with a trial justice’s
decision in that regard unless there was a clear abuse of discretion * * *.” Id.; see also State v.
Pitts, 990 A.2d 185, 189 (R.I. 2010); State v. Breen, 767 A.2d 50, 58 (R.I. 2001); State v.
Gabriau, 696 A.2d 290, 294 (R.I. 1997); State v. Johnson, 667 A.2d 523, 530 (R.I. 1995). It
should be recalled that this Court is “disinclined to perceive an abuse of discretion so long as the
6 Ms. Saucier was subpoenaed by both the prosecution and defense. At trial, however, it
was defendant who presented her testimony.
- 9 -
record contains some grounds for supporting the trial justice’s decision * * *.” Pitts, 990 A.2d at
189-90 (internal quotation marks omitted); see also State v. Grullon, 984 A.2d 46, 53 (R.I. 2009).
IV
Analysis
A
Danielle Brueske’s Reputation for Untruthfulness
The defendant’s first contention on appeal is that the trial justice erred in excluding Lynn
Saucier’s testimony with respect to her assessment of Danielle Brueske’s reputation for
untruthfulness in the community.
When defendant attempted to elicit testimony from Lynn Saucier regarding Ms.
Brueske’s reputation for “credibility/veracity in the community,” the trial justice called the
attorneys to sidebar; and then, outside the presence of the jury, he allowed defense counsel to
conduct a voir dire examination of Ms. Saucier with respect to the reputation issue.
Prior to the commencement of the voir dire examination, Ms. Saucier had already
testified in open court that she had personal knowledge of Ms. Brueske’s reputation as to
truthfulness (vel non) in the community as a result of her “[s]peaking with other people in [Ms.
Saucier’s] classroom at the time [they] were in [Diman School of Practical Nursing]”7 and as a
result of her having been employed at the same “nursing facility where [Ms. Brueske] used to
work.”
During the voir dire examination, Ms. Saucier further testified that she had known Ms.
Brueske throughout the course of their one year nursing program at Diman School of Practical
7 The record is clear that Lynn Saucier was Danielle Brueske’s “classmate” at Diman
School of Practical Nursing.
- 10 -
Nursing—both in the classroom and also socially. She further testified that they both knew each
other’s friends. Ms. Saucier testified that she used to see Ms. Brueske “at least daily;” however,
she added that they had not spoken to one another since July 26, 2006.8
Ms. Saucier testified that she learned of Ms. Brueske’s reputation as to truthfulness
through “[s]ituations that [she had] experienced personally with [Ms. Brueske] as well as
conversations held with other classmates that may have gone to high school with [Ms. Brueske]
or people that [Ms. Saucier has] worked with in the nursing field.” Ms. Saucier testified that Ms.
Brueske’s reputation within that community is that “she is not truthful, that she basically lies
about everything.”
After hearing Ms. Saucier’s voir dire testimony, the trial justice ruled that her testimony
fell “far below the standard of the rule.” The trial justice held that there was an insufficient
showing of a proper foundation for Ms. Saucier to testify as to Ms. Brueske’s reputation for
truthfulness within the community. The trial justice therefore excluded Ms. Saucier’s testimony
as to “her or anybody else’s knowledge of the reputation of the complaining witness in this
case.”
Rule 608(a) of the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence reads as follows:
“The credibility of a witness may be attacked or supported by
evidence in the form of opinion or reputation, but subject to these
limitations: (1) the evidence may refer only to character for
truthfulness or untruthfulness, and (2) evidence of truthful
character is admissible only after the character of the witness for
truthfulness has been attacked by opinion or reputation evidence or
otherwise.”
8 Both Lynn Saucier and Danielle Brueske testified that they spoke to one another by
telephone on the evening of July 26, 2006, after the alleged offenses had been committed. It is
undisputed that they never spoke to one another thereafter.
It will be recalled that defendant’s trial was held in September of 2007.
- 11 -
It is clear, therefore, that testimony is admissible pursuant to Rule 608(a) in the form of either
opinion evidence9 or reputational evidence.10 State v. Benoit, 697 A.2d 329, 331 (R.I. 1997)
(stating that character evidence “may be proven by testimony as to reputation or by testimony in
the form of an opinion”) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also State v. Lopes, 767 A.2d
673, 676 (R.I. 2001); see generally 1 McCormick on Evidence, § 43 at 201-06 (Kenneth S.
Broun, 6th ed. 2006). However, we need not tarry longer with an extended discussion
concerning opinion evidence under Rule 608(a) since it is clear from the record that the
testimony which defense counsel was seeking to elicit from Lynn Saucier was in the form of
reputational evidence—as opposed to opinion evidence.
It is well established in this jurisdiction that “testimony of a character witness called for
the purpose of establishing another witness’s reputation in the community for veracity is
generally admissible.” State v. Cote, 691 A.2d 537, 540 (R.I. 1997). However, we have also
indicated that “a witness may not testify to the reputation of another witness unless evidence is
introduced sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter.”
Id. (emphasis added); see also Lopes, 767 A.2d at 677 (“[A] witness must establish that he or she
has personal knowledge of another person’s reputation before he or she can proffer an opinion
concerning that reputation * * *.”); see generally Michelson v. United States, 335 U.S. 469, 478
(1948) (Jackson, J.) (“[T]he witness [as to reputation] must qualify to give an opinion by
showing such acquaintance with the defendant, the community in which he [or she] has lived and
9 See United States v. Turning Bear, 357 F.3d 730, 734 (8th Cir. 2004); United States v.
Cortez, 935 F.2d 135, 139 (8th Cir. 1991).
10 The text of Rule 608(a)(2) of the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence clearly places
limitations on the admissibility of “evidence of truthful character.” Those limitations are,
however, irrelevant with respect to the instant case—since defendant was seeking to present
evidence as to the complaining witness’s character for untruthfulness.
- 12 -
the circles in which he [or she] has moved, as to speak with authority of the terms in which
generally he [or she] is regarded.”).
Although in bygone times a reputation for truthfulness or untruthfulness was most often
based solely on the community where the person at issue lived, today the reputation of a person
may also be established on the basis of “any substantial group of people among whom he [or
she] is well known, such as the persons with whom he [or she] works, does business, or goes to
school.” McCormick on Evidence, § 43 at 204; see also United States v. Oliver, 492 F.2d 943,
946 (8th Cir. 1974) (“[C]ourts have readily extended the concept of community to include the
community in which one works, as well as where one lives.”); Dynes v. Dynes, 637 N.E.2d
1321, 1323 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994) (“The trend of modern authority is to allow evidence of the
witness’s reputation in the workplace.”); State v. Caldwell, 529 N.W.2d 282, 286 (Iowa 1995)
(“[I]n modern times one’s reputation may be better known where a person works than where a
person resides.”); State v. Land, 851 P.2d 678, 680 (Wash. 1993) (“[T]here should be no
restriction necessarily limited to the community in which the witness sought to be impeached
lives, and * * * the realities of our modern, mobile, impersonal society should also recognize that
a witness may have a reputation for truth and veracity in the community in which he [or she]
works and may have impressed on others in that community his [or her] character for
truthfulness or untruthfulness.”).
We have additionally stated that, in addition to the requirement that the reputational
witness have personal knowledge of the reputation in the community of the witness sought to be
impeached, “[t]he crucial time when the character of the witness under attack has its influence on
his [or her] truth-telling is the time when he [or she] testifies.” State v. Sepe, 122 R.I. 560, 568,
410 A.2d 127, 132 (1980) (quoting McCormick’s Handbook of the Law of Evidence, § 44 at 92
- 13 -
(Edward W. Cleary, 2d ed. 1972)); see also Cote, 691 A.2d at 541. And we have clarified the
just-quoted principle as follows: “Testimony concerning a witness’s reputation for truthfulness
as of any time before trial is admissible if the trial justice determines the evidence not too remote
to be significant.” Cote, 691 A.2d at 541 (some emphasis added).
We have required the party seeking to admit reputational evidence “to establish a
foundation for the admissibility of reputation evidence” either by means of an offer of proof or
by requesting a voir dire examination. Cote, 691 A.2d at 541. We have also stated that the
burden is on “the proponent of the evidence to satisfy the requirements of knowledge of the
[witness’s] reputation in the community, the timeliness of that knowledge and its proximity to
the time of trial.” Id. We note that a party seeking to admit evidence of a witness’s reputation
within the community for untruthfulness need not elicit from the proffered witness specific
instances of untruthfulness. See Oliver, 492 F.2d at 947 (stating that “[s]pecific incidents may
only be inquired into on cross-examination of a witness testifying as to character for
truthfulness” and holding that it was improper for counsel to inquire as to specific incidents
when laying a foundation for reputation testimony during voir dire). Although the abovesummarized
criteria are somewhat demanding, we have nonetheless “acknowledged the
competency of negative-reputation evidence when the character witness is sufficiently familiar
with [the challenged witness’s] residence or circle of acquaintances.” See Cote, 691 A.2d at 541.
The defendant contends that the proposed testimony by Ms. Saucier was “well within the
confines of Rule 608 and should have been allowed.” The defendant further contends that he
was particularly prejudiced by the exclusion of such evidence because Ms. Brueske’s credibility
was the “ultimate issue” in this case. The prosecution counters by stating that the trial justice did
- 14 -
not abuse his discretion in excluding this reputational testimony since, according to the
prosecution, defendant “did not establish an adequate foundation” for such testimony.
However, we need not decide whether the trial justice abused his discretion in excluding
Lynn Saucier’s proposed testimony with respect to Danielle Brueske’s character for
untruthfulness in the community because we are of the opinion that any such error would have
been harmless beyond a reasonable doubt in light of the voluminous evidence before the jury
with respect to Ms. Brueske’s remarkable history of untruthfulness. While testifying in open
court, Ms. Brueske admitted to having engaged in a pattern of mendacious and deceitful conduct
vis-à-vis defendant and vis-à-vis the man who had recently become her fiancé. She explicitly
admitted to having lied to each of them.
It is noteworthy that, during his closing argument, defense counsel quite appropriately
employed a “false in one thing, false in all” theme and argued to the jury as follows with respect
to the credibility of Ms. Brueske:
“[S]he lied to any number of people that she knows. She
acknowledged on the stand [that] she lied to this person, to that
person, to her lover. So she is used to lying. She lied during that
period of time, and she acknowledged that she lied to people that
she loved and cared for her. Why wouldn’t she lie to you? * * *
[J]ust because she is reciting the same story, as she did before,
doesn’t make it true.”
In view of the substantial amount of evidence that did reach the jury with respect to Ms.
Brueske’s mendacity, we are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the exclusion of Lynn
Saucier’s reputational testimony, if error at all, constituted harmless error. See State v. Perez,
882 A.2d 574, 590 (R.I. 2005); see also State v. Robinson, 989 A.2d 965, 978 (R.I. 2010); State
v. Humphrey, 715 A.2d 1265, 1276 (R.I. 1998); State v. Danahey, 108 R.I. 291, 294-97, 274
A.2d 736, 738-39 (1971); see generally Arizona v. Fulminante, 499 U.S. 279, 306-12 (1991).
- 15 -
B
Potential Impeachment Testimony
The defendant’s second argument on appeal is that the trial justice erred in excluding
testimony by Lynn Saucier which defendant contends would have impeached Danielle Brueske’s
testimony wherein she denied having told Ms. Saucier that she was involved in “kinky sex” and
that her fiancé (Jarret Ferreira) “beat her.”11 The defendant contends that Ms. Saucier would
have testified that Ms. Brueske did in fact make statements to her about both matters.
With respect to the proposed testimony by Ms. Saucier that Ms. Brueske had informed
her that she was involved in “kinky sex,” the trial justice stated that “any probative value can be
outweighed by the inflammatory nature to the jury.”12 See Rule 403 of the Rhode Island Rules
of Evidence. In articulating his reasons for excluding the testimony that Ms. Brueske had told
Ms. Saucier that her fiancé had “beat her,” the trial justice ruled that such testimony would have
“nothing to do with the efficacy of the charges against [defendant].” Moreover, he characterized
that proposed line of questioning as a “fishing expedition.” The trial justice further characterized
the proposed testimony as “rank hearsay,” and he stated that he would not allow it.
11 While being cross-examined by defense counsel, Ms. Brueske denied having told Ms.
Saucier while they were attending nursing school that her fiancé “physically abused” or “beat”
her. Ms. Brueske further testified that, at some point during nursing school, she had informed
Ms. Saucier that she and her fiancé had had an argument and that her eye had been bruised as
they were “pushing each other.” She further testified that her fiancé had not hit her; however,
she then rephrased her answer to state that he had not intentionally hit her.
12 Testimony was elicited during trial that defendant and Ms. Brueske had gone to an adult
video store, where defendant purchased a “purple rope restraint.” However, Ms. Brueske denied
that defendant had purchased the purple rope restraint for them to use together. She also denied
that she was involved in “kinky” or sadomasochistic sexual activities.
The trial justice noted that there had not been “a shred of evidence” that the rope restraint
seized from defendant’s home had ever been “used in connection with [the complaining
witness].” He therefore opted to exclude testimony by Ms. Saucier with respect to Ms. Brueske
being involved in “kinky sex” due to the fact that there was no showing of an evidentiary nexus.
- 16 -
The defendant contends that the just-referenced proposed testimony about the alleged
beating of the complaining witness and about her alleged involvement in “kinky sex” should
have been admitted pursuant to Rule 801(d)(1)(A) of the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence in that
it would constitute prior inconsistent statements of the complaining witness—and therefore
would not fall within the definition of hearsay. The defendant contends that the purported
impeachment testimony was important to his “theory of defense * * * that any marks upon [Ms.
Brueske’s] body were the result of consensual sexual activities” engaged in with defendant or
with Doyle—or that such injuries were caused by her fiancé, with whom she had had a violent
argument.
Rule 801(d)(1)(A) provides that “[a] statement is not hearsay if * * * [t]he declarant
testifies at the trial or hearing and is subject to cross-examination concerning the statement, and
the statement is * * * inconsistent with the declarant’s testimony.” This Court has further
expressly stated that “prior inconsistent statements may be admitted as substantive evidence” and
may also be used to “impeach a witness’s testimony at trial.” State v. Espinal, 943 A.2d 1052,
1059, 1060 (R.I. 2008); see also State v. Pusyka, 592 A.2d 850, 853 (R.I. 1991).
However, it is unnecessary to determine whether Ms. Saucier’s testimony could have
been properly admitted as nonhearsay pursuant to Rule 801(d)(1)(A)—because the ruling of the
trial justice in excluding the testimony on other grounds was an appropriate discretionary
evidentiary ruling.
Pursuant to Rule 402 of the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence, “[a]ll relevant evidence is
admissible * * *.” Rule 401 of the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence defines “relevant evidence”
as “evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the
determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the
- 17 -
evidence.” See State v. Carvalho, 892 A.2d 140, 148 (R.I. 2006). This Court has consistently
held that “[d]ecisions about the admissibility of evidence on relevancy grounds are left to the
sound discretion of the trial justice; this Court will not disturb those decisions on appeal absent
an abuse of discretion.” State v. Pena-Rojas, 822 A.2d 921, 924 (R.I. 2003); see also Carvalho,
892 A.2d at 148; State v. Grayhurst, 852 A.2d 491, 505 (R.I. 2004).
Rule 403 of the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence reads as follows:
“Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative
value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice,
confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by
considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless
presentation of cumulative evidence.”
This Court has stated that “a trial justice’s discretion to exclude evidence under Rule 403 must be
used sparingly.” State v. DeJesus, 947 A.2d 873, 883 (R.I. 2008); see also State v. Patel, 949
A.2d 401, 412 (R.I. 2008). We have emphasized that “[i]t is only when evidence is marginally
relevant and enormously prejudicial that a trial justice must exclude it.” DeJesus, 947 A.2d at
883; see also State v. Silvia, 898 A.2d 707, 717 (R.I. 2006); see generally Wells v. Uvex Winter
Optical, Inc., 635 A.2d 1188, 1193 (R.I. 1994) (“The determination of the value of evidence
should normally be placed in the control of the party who offers it. Unless evidence is of limited
or marginal relevance and enormously prejudicial, the trial justice should not act to exclude it.”).
We have also stated that, because “[t]he ultimate determination of the effect of evidence lies in
the discretion of the trial justice,” this Court will not disturb such a determination absent an
abuse of discretion. State v. Aponte, 649 A.2d 219, 223 (R.I. 1994); see also DeJesus, 947 A.2d
at 883; State v. Oliveira, 774 A.2d 893, 924 (R.I. 2001).
In the case at bar, we are unable to perceive an abuse of discretion on the part of the trial
justice in his decision to exclude any testimony by Ms. Saucier as to Ms. Brueske allegedly
- 18 -
having told her that she was “into kinky sex” and also allegedly having told her that her fiancé
“beat her.” These rulings did not constitute an abuse of the discretion that is accorded to the trial
justice pursuant to Rules 401, 402, and 403.
The record reflects little to no attempt by defendant to have developed in any meaningful
way either point as a part of the overall defense strategy. There was no evidence in the record to
suggest that Ms. Brueske had sustained the injuries at issue from an altercation with her fiancé;
indeed, there was no evidence presented that Ms. Brueske and her fiancé were near or in the
presence of one another on the day of or in the days immediately preceding the alleged
kidnapping and assaults.
We further note that the trial justice appears to have been inclined to allow defendant to
have elicited testimony from Ms. Saucier about “kinky sex” if defendant had proceeded to offer
further evidence of the purple rope restraint having been used by defendant and Ms. Brueske in
some consensual activity. Upon defense counsel’s representation that there “would be” a
connection drawn between the purple rope restraint, found in defendant’s home, and the
complaining witness, the trial justice stated:
“Well, I’d like to see that. If that is the case, maybe you can recall
[Lynn Saucier], but I can’t let this woman say, oh, yes, and she
told me that she was into kinky sex, whatever that means * * *.”
The record is clear, however, that the defense did not offer any further evidence in that regard.
We are, therefore, of the opinion that the trial justice did not abuse his discretion in
concluding that the potential that the proposed testimony of Ms. Saucier would have to confuse
or to mislead the jury outweighed any probative value that such testimony may have possessed.
- 19 -
C
Excluded Testimony Concerning Doyle
The defendant further contends that the trial justice erred in refusing to allow Lynn
Saucier to testify concerning Danielle Brueske’s relationship with Doyle. However, defense
counsel did not object to the trial justice’s exclusion of such evidence during the trial itself.
Therefore, in accordance with our well-known raise or waive rule, we shall not address on appeal
this final evidentiary argument. See State v. Forand, 958 A.2d 134, 141 (R.I. 2008) (“This
Court’s well settled ‘raise-or-waive’ rule precludes us from considering at the appellate level
issues not properly presented before the trial court.”); see also State v. McManus, 990 A.2d
1229, 1237 (R.I. 2010); State v. Gomez, 848 A.2d 221, 237-38 (R.I. 2004); State v. Grant, 840
A.2d 541, 546 (R.I. 2004); State v. Pacheco, 763 A.2d 971, 976 (R.I. 2001).
V
Conclusion
For the reasons discussed in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of conviction. The
record in this case may be remanded to the Superior Court.
RHODE ISLAND SUPREME COURT CLERK’S OFFICE
Clerk’s Office Order/Opinion Cover Sheet
TITLE OF CASE: State v. Gabriel Moreno.
CASE NO: No. 2008-161-C.A.
(P2/06-3214A)
COURT: Supreme Court
DATE OPINION FILED: June 23, 2010
JUSTICES: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.
WRITTEN BY: Justice William P. Robinson III
SOURCE OF APPEAL: Providence County Superior Court
JUDGE FROM LOWER COURT:
Associate Justice Francis J. Darigan, Jr.
ATTORNEYS ON APPEAL:
For Plaintiff: Christopher R. Bush
Department of Attorney General
For Defendant: Janice M. Weisfeld
Office of the Public Defender

http://www.courts.ri.gov/supreme/pdf-files/08-161.pdf

 

Charlestown motorcyclist in DUI death gets 7 years

22 Jun

Charlestown motorcyclist in DUI death gets 7 years
4:18 PM Mon, Jun 21, 2010 | Permalink
News staff Email

By TALIA BUFORD
Journal staff writer

WAKEFIELD — The 22-year old Charlestown man responsible for driving under the influence ad causing a 2009 motorcycle fatality was sentenced Monday to serve seven years at the Adult Correctional Institutions.

Henry Lamb at his September 2009 arraignment Henry D. Lamb, of 70 Columbia Heights Oval, Charlestown, pleaded no contest to driving under the influence, death resulting, and driving to endanger, death resulting. A third charge of driving with a suspended license was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Lamb was sentenced to serve 15 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions for driving under the influence. He will serve 7 of those years, with the balance suspended with probation. At the same time, he will serve 7 years of a 10-year sentence for driving to endanger. Once he is released on probation, he will lose his license for five years and is ordered to complete DUI school. He must also complete 1,000 hours of community service and pay court costs.

“I find that he is contrite, truly sorry and in large part, a ruined human being at this point in his life,” Judge Edwin Gale said prior to sentencing in Washington County Superior Court.

Lamb was traveling north on Beaver River Road in Richmond shortly after 7 p.m. on July 12 when he lost control of the 2008 Yamaha motorcycle and struck a tree and rocks. Neither Lamb nor his passenger, Kimberly G. Barbera, were wearing helmets. Assistant Attorney General Steve Regine said that Lamb was traveling at least 55 miles per hour in a 25-mile per hour zone and had a blood alcohol level of 0.150 — the legal limit is 0.08.

Both were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Barbera, 20, later died of her injuries.

Lamb was named in a Sept. 12 in a secret indictment, which means it was not the result of an arrest by the police or a complaint to the District Court. He had been out on bail since Sept. 21.

http://newsblog.projo.com/2010/06/7-year-sentence-for-charlestow.html

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.

 

6.8% of Rhode Island drivers have Driven Under the Influence/DUI

19 Jun
The beautiful state of Rhode Island has a very strict policy when it comes to Rhode Island Car accidents laws. Rhode Island also enforces the law of strict liability against anyone who are responsible for the damages caused. This process comes into force when any person or persons willfully indulge in wrongful activity, fully aware of the consequences if something were to go wrong.

If a person is driving a car at a speed higher than what is authorized and even if he is being very careful, he can hit another car or pedestrian causing catastrophic injuries; despite his precautions he is still responsible for his own actions. On the other hand if an individual is crossing a road at the wrong place on the road, which causes an incoming cars driver to hastily turn and have an accident, then the pedestrian is completely at fault and is held responsible.

However, a more serious and shocking driver behavior that causes up to 32% of all Rhode Island car accidents is related to alcohol – according to the US Department of Transportation. Driving Under Influence (DUI) law is one of the stricter in Rhode Island.

Despite this, 6.8% of adult Rhode Island drivers are known to have driven under the influence of illicit drugs which is highest in any state – according to US Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. A driver can face up to one year in prison and a fine up to $500 – in minor car accidents. But if the same DUI happens within five years of the first conviction then the driver can face up to three years in prison.

Rhode Island – Lawyer’s Guidance on DUI

In several Providence car accidents related to drunk driving, you need an experienced lawyer to handle the case. A drunken driving accident can result in very serious injury or even death for an innocent victim. The family must engage an experience lawyer to get justice and ensure the person who has caused this injury is held responsible for his/her actions.

The victim or the victim’s family can file a lawsuit against the diver or the company who employed the driver if it involves a commercial vehicle. In certain special cases, a restaurant/bar and a liquor store can also be held responsible for a drunken driving accident. For example if a minor was drinking at a bar prior to the accident then the lawsuit can filed against the bar for the negligence.

According to the law, the bar manager or worker has to call a cab or should not serve alcohol to an individual without the permissible limit. There can also be instances where the driver was operating a commercial vehicle, which means that the company that hired the driver should be held responsible.

Source:by Imaculate Johnson

Interested in DUI attorney Brenda L. Fortune or any other Criminal Defense Felony or Misdemeanor matter in RI contact Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Brenda L. Fortune at 401-782-2300 or CONTACT HER NOW VIA EMAIL.