Criminal Law, Pages 410–412

State v. Boodoosingh

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, 2014

Facts:

Defendant was ready to fight with the victim when the victim's mother jumped between them and said not to fight with weapons. Defendant refused to drop his baseball and raised he hand to begin to swing at the victim, but the mother pushed defendant away so that he could not.

Procedural History:

Defendant was convicted of assault by means of a dangerous weapon.

Issue:

Did defendant assault the victim even though he never swung at him?

Defendant's Argument:

Because defendant never swung the bat, his actions were not "reasonably close" to accomplishing the intended battery and therefore not assault.

Rule:

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([T]o prove attempt, Commonwealth must prove that defendant either committed the last act necessary to complete the crime, such as where a combatant swings and misses, or committed overt acts that brought him very near in time and ability to commission of the completed crime).

Reasoning:

A jury does not have to find actions to constitute assault for the same reason. Even if the instructions were erroneous, the jury still believed the Commonwealth's proof over the defendant's claim of what happened. The victim's mother therefore was the only thing that prevented a battery from occurring.

Holding:

Yes, defendant assaulted the victim. Affirmed.

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