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Suppression of Firearms as Evidence Reversed on Appeal

November 16, 2016

November 16, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tim Connolly 508-368-7236

Or 508-688-5565

WORCESTER – Evidence gathered by Southbridge Police in connection with a home invasion will be used in the case against four Worcester defendants after the Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed a Superior Court judge’s order to suppress the evidence, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

David Dolan, Jesse Fuller, Taj Johnson and Timothy Barnes are awaiting trial on a variety of charges including home invasion. They were arrested shortly before midnight on May 26, 2014, not long after the home invasion had occurred.

The suspects’ car was stopped by police in neighboring Charlton. A search of the car at the road found a folding knife, a bulletproof vest, an expandable baton and pepper spray. The suspects were arrested and the car was towed to the Southbridge Police Station where the search of the car continued. Two firearms were then recovered from the vehicle.

Superior Court Judge Janet Kenton-Walker, after hearing motions to suppress evidence in the case, ruled the firearms could not be used as evidence against the defendants. In her decision, the judge found there was an unreasonable delay in the search and said the police should have obtained a warrant to continue the search after the car was towed.

In reversing the decision, the Appeals Court said, “As a matter of law, there was no unreasonable delay here.”