Commonwealth v. J.L., Suffolk Superior Court

Several Dorchester and South Boston restaurants were being robbed by a masked gunman.  The defendant, allegedly working in tandem with his girlfriend, would place food orders for delivery, and once the drive arrived at the delivery location, the girlfriend would stall long enough for the defendant, masked and armed, to approach the driver from behind and rob him at gunpoint.

Having committed these robberies one too many times, the defendant mistakenly called the same pizza  place that he had robbed just one month earlier.  The manager, recognizing the same telephone number that was used to place the order, took the order and called the police.  A 'sting' was quickly set up, and the defendant was tackled as he allegedly attempted to rob the delivery driver at gunpoint. 

Finding gloves, masks, as well as the gun on his possession, the defendant was arrested and charged with 4 counts of Armed Robbery, and Armed Assault with Intent to Rob.  If convicted, he faced a maximum of life imprisonment.

With several prior convictions, the best the prosecutor offered on a deal was 7-10 years in state prison.  In custody for over a year awaiting trial, the Defendant was offered a 'sweet deal' on the day of trial by the Judge: only 2 more years in state prison and no probation after his release.  His girlfriend, notably, had previosly pled Guilty and had already been sentenced to state prison for several years.  After discussing the pros and cons of the deal, as well as going over the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor's case, the defendant rejected the plea offer and took the case to trial. 

Despite the strong evidence against him, including several pictures of him on the same phone that was used to place the delivery orders, enough holes in the government's case were highlighted to convince a jury to find him NOT GUILTY of all charges.

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