On October 30, 2014, an O’Dell Motion hearing date was set in reference to Commonwealth vs. Merkman, Jean-Francois, and Phillip. This motion was to explore allegations that evidence in an investigation had been improperly presented to the Grand Jury by Marshard and a State Police Trooper.
During a drug investigation, Detective Curelli of Oak Bluffs Police Department seized the phone of a known drug dealer. He later used the dealer’s phone to correspond with another person whom was believed to be the dealer’s supplier. While communicating with this individual, Curelli coordinated a drug buy to take place in Oak Bluffs. The individual he was texting with was believed to be traveling by ferry to Martha’s Vineyard to provide the drugs. Officer’s and detective with the local Drug Task Force were on alert regarding the deal. An officer was sent to observe any passengers boarding boats traveling to the island.
That afternoon, Curelli received a text message indicating his suspect was on the island. After checking in with the officer observing the boats, the officer indicated there was a group of three to four black males who had boarded a freight boat to the island and that could potentially be the suspects, as they had not been carrying baggage which is unusual. He provided a description of their clothing to Curelli, who subsequently put all of the Task Force on alert.
Once the individuals described by the officer were located on the island Curelli continued to text with the suspect, while officers observed the group of males enter a local restaurant. According to the texts, the suspect felt “Shit is funny I’m gona leave.” Officers...
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...m in the carjacking made statements in the Grand Jury that conflicted with statements made to Marshard, his co-defendant’s lawyer, and a private investigator.
Kelley provided ACAP with a copy of his motion to dismiss, which included an endorsement from Judge Ball. According to ACAP the endorsement said "In seeking dismissal of an indictment based on the allegation that false evidence was presented to the grand jury, the defendant 'bears the heavy burden of proving (1) that the false testimony was knowingly or recklessly given but also (2) that the evidence 'probably influenced the grand jury 's determination to indict the defendant. ' [citations omitted] In a case with striking similar allegations of misconduct as those made here, the court denied a motion to dismiss since part 2 of the test was not met. [citations omitted] This motion is therefore Denied."
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