The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reported that Daniel Linnell III of Danvers will spend the next eighteen months on probation for hitting his son in a movie theatre last August. After the manager received complaints, the defendant was arrested at the Danvers theatre and charged with assault and battery. According to the paper, witness saw the frustrated father hit his four year old son on the head causing his drink to fly from his hand. In the Salem District Court, Linnell's defense attorney asserted that the father swung at the child to prevent him from hitting him in the groin.
As in most situations, there were two sides to this story. On one hand, the father, defendant, claimed that he was just protecting himself from his child. On the other hand, on the day of trial two witnesses appeared prepared to testify that they saw Linnell strike the child, however, did not see the child hit him in the groin. Apparently, concerned with what the outcome would be, the father opted to accept responsibility and have his case continued without a finding for eighteen months. As long as Linnell completes an anger management course, does not get rearrested, enrolls in career counseling and does not abuse children the case will be dismissed. Thus, the defendant avoided the possibility of a conviction if the case had gone to trial.
If you have been charged with any crime in Massachusetts it is imperative that you have an experienced Boston area attorney on your side. Investigating a case early on and evaluating all of the evidence is critical in the early stages of a case. Depending on the circumstances, a defense attorney can file discovery motions, motions to suppress evidence, motions to suppress evidence and motions to dismiss.
For a defendant who is charged with assault and battery, the most common defenses are self-defense, defense of another and misidentification. Based on the available information in the Linnell case, it appears that a viable defense would have been self-defense. In the event that a case of self-defense or a defense of another is assorted, the Commonwealth must not only prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt but they also must prove that the defendant did not act in self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.