2005 murder conviction vacated

Superior Court Judge Sandra L. Hamlin tossed out the 2005 murder conviction of a Framingham man because the detective on the case failed to disclose the fact that the victim was a known gang member.

Judge Hamlin wrote that Framingham Police Detective Lieutenant Kevin Slattery neglected to inform prosecutors that Joseph McDaniel, the victim, was a member of the Kendall Street Thugs when he was murdered in 2003. The issue in the case was whether the defendant, Eric Murray, had acted in self-defense or out of fear when he killed McDaniel. Many witnesses at trial identified themselves as members of KST, however they claimed it was an innocent group of friends.

Murray was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting McDaniel in the chest, back, and wrist with a .25-caliber Colt handgun during a confrontation in a parking lot on Kendall Street in Framingham. According to police, Murray and McDaniel knew each other.

Slattery filed an affidavit in 2007 in which he wrote that McDaniel was a KST member also known as “Joe Bucks’’ and “was shot and killed on Kendall Street in the presence of many KST members’’ four years earlier. In June 2007, 20 members and associates of KST were indicted on federal and state charges of selling crack cocaine as a result of a three-year investigation by law enforcement officials, including Slattery.“The Slattery Affidavit demonstrates that an investigation into KST was pending at the time of Murray’s trial,’’ Hamlin wrote in her April 12 order tossing the conviction.

There is no evidence that prosecutor Sheila M. Calkins, now chief of staff to state Attorney General Martha Coakley, “intentionally failed to disclose information concerning KST that Slattery attests to in his affidavit,’’ Hamlin wrote. Although it was unlikely the prosecutor was aware of the evidence that could have cleared Murray, she wrote, it “was known to police participating in Murray’s case.’’

-Attorney John J. MacLaughlan

Lt. Kevin Slattery did absolutely nothing wrong in this case. The facts contained in the “Slattery Affidavit” are irrelevant. Here, several years before the “Slattery Affidavit” was drafted, the defendant shot and killed Joseph McDaniel. The day after the shooting, he admitted that he had gone to Kendall Street in Framingham with others. He was armed with a handgun. He stood face to face with McDaniel and fatally shot him. The defendant admitted that McDaniel was empty handed and had no weapon. That sounds like murder to me. This “Slattery Affidavit” is a “red herring.” It was written years after the murder for another case and has no bearing on the question of whether the defendant murdered McDaniel. Besides, street criminals shouldn’t be allowed to illegally carry guns and claim “self-defense.”

Attorney Brian E. Simoneau

About Attorney John J. MacLaughlan

John MacLaughlan is Massachusetts licensed attorney as well as a Boston police officer. John is currently assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force (Gang Unit). He is a graduate of the Massachusetts School of Law with a concentration in Labor Law. He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell as well as a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. John has taught Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Use of Force, Applied Patrol Procedures, and Police Response to Active Shooters to sworn police officers and police academy recruits. Prior to becoming a Boston Police Officer, John served for 9 years as a police officer in Lowell, where he was a member of the Police Dive Team and Patrol Rifle Team.
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