A twenty-four year Lowell Massachusetts man pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the shooting death of 17-year-old Tavaryna Choeun. According to The Lowell Sun, the defendant, identified as Srey, is accused of firing five shots into a car where Choeun was sitting in the passenger seat at a Lowell intersection. The authorities do not believe that Choeun was the intended victim. The shooting occurred on May 12, 2008 and Srey was just arraigned earlier this week on charges of first-degree murder, three counts of armed assault to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card and discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
Although all of the facts are not known at this time it appears that a viable defense may be that Srey has been misidentified. The fact that there was a significant passage of time between the incident and an indictment suggests that the police may have had a difficult time having witnesses come forward. It may also be the case that some witnesses may have a motive to testify against Srey.
In Massachusetts, if you are charged with illegal possession of a firearm you could face a mandatory minimum sentence of eighteen months in the house of correction. Depending on the facts of the case, it may be appropriate to file a motion to suppress evidence if a gun was confiscated from your person, a car that you were in or in your apartment or home. Successful litigation of motions to suppress evidence can result in the suppression of evidence which is often the end of the case for the Commonwealth.