A Lowell District Court jury took less than 10 minutes today to find Attorney Chris Spring’s client not guilty of committing an assault and battery against his estranged wife.
The client and his wife wed in 2014 and had been having marital problems for the past several years. In 2017, the client told his wife he might want to pursue a divorce, but the couple continued to live together in Tewksbury. One night in October, the wife went out with some friends and arrived home at approximately two in the morning. According to her, the client was in the kitchen cooking and the two began to argue. During the course of the argument, the client allegedly kicked her cell phone out of her hand, causing it to fly under the couch. The wife fled outside and hysterically called 911. On the 911 call, the wife first said she was afraid the client would hit her, and then that the client had hit her hand. By the time the cops arrived at the house, the wife asserted that the client had kicked her, and he was taken into custody and charged with assault and battery on a family member.
At trial, the wife testified against the client. She insisted that the client had been increasingly violent, which culminated with the assault and battery in October. The 911 call was played for the jury, as was a short (one-second) video clip that the wife testified showed the phone being kicked out of her hand. On the video, a male voice could be heard yelling, but it was impossible to see what the video portrayed. When Attorney Spring cross-examined the wife, she acknowledged the client and her family did not get along, and it had caused friction in the marriage. According to the wife, on the night of the alleged assault the client was saying disrespectful things about her family. As she testified about the client’s comments on the witness stand, she was becoming visibly agitated but she insisted she was not mad at the client on the evening in question. She also changed her story regarding the exact part of her body that was kicked (from her hand to her forearm) and admitted that if the client had divorced her, she would not have been able to stay in the United States (because her visa was dependent on her marriage to the client). A police officer also testified at the trial that when he responded to the couple’s home, he did not see any injuries on the wife and the client was completely cooperative.
During his closing argument, Attorney Spring argued the wife should not be believed because: (1) she changed several important details in her story; (2) the cop did not make observations to corroborate her story; (3) she had a motive to lie and try to get the client into trouble; and (4) the video did not portray the incident and it could not have been recorded as suggested by the wife. The jury very quickly rejected the Commonwealth’s plea to convict and found the client not guilty.
The acquittal is particularly important to the client, as he is not a citizen and may have been deported if he had been convicted. If you are charged with a crime, you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.