In the first jury trial held today in Concord District Court since the pandemic, Attorney Chris Spring convinced the jurors to find his client not guilty of committing an assault and battery against his longtime girlfriend.
One night in February of 2020, our 19-year-old client traveled to his girlfriend’s house in Acton after he finished his shift at a local grocery store. He arrived around midnight and the couple began arguing about one of the girlfriend’s friends. As the argument became more heated, our client decided to leave the house. He stood up and began walking toward the door and the girlfriend tried to prevent him from leaving. According to our client, the girlfriend grabbed him by his clothes, ripping his shirt and sweatshirt. Our client pushed her hands away from his body and was able to leave the girlfriend’s house. The girlfriend called the police and told them the client had shoved her, slammed her against the door, and strangled her. The police responded and noticed some redness around her wrists, but did not observe any marks on her neck or injuries on any other part of her body.
On the evening of the incident, the girlfriend obtained a restraining order that prohibited our client from contacting her. However, the girlfriend continued to reach out to him and sent him several texts and messages on Instagram. The girlfriend sent him a picture of a marijuana plant she was growing and said she would share the marijuana with our client when it was ready. She also told our client that she missed him and wanted to run away with him. Instead of answering the girlfriend’s messages, our client blocked her on his social media accounts. The girlfriend responded by leaving an obscenity-filled voicemail for our client, accusing him of ruining her life.
At trial, the girlfriend testified that she was terrified of our client and Attorney Spring confronted her with the repeated efforts she made to reach out to him. If she was scared enough to obtain a restraining order, why was she trying to have contact with him? Attorney Spring also introduced photographs of the girlfriend’s neck and wrists and argued the lack of serious injuries was inconsistent with her allegations of being violently assaulted. Finally, Attorney Spring introduced photos of our client’s ripped clothing to establish the girlfriend was the primary aggressor. Our client testified persuasively that he was simply trying to push the girlfriend away from him as he was being attacked.
The jury took less than an hour to find our client not guilty of assault and battery on a family member. A conviction could have had catastrophic consequences on our client’s employment opportunities, as he recently graduated from college and will be subject to background checks from potential employers. Instead, he can now truthfully answer he has never been convicted of a crime. Our client and his now former-girlfriend have not had any contact in a couple of years, and will hopefully not cross paths in the future.