Sunday, April 18, 2010

Murder or Manslaughter, Certainly Mayhem In Springfield, Mass

Murder or manslaughter, you decide.  MassLive.com is reporting on murder charges leveled against 22 year old Lucas Allen (pic) of Springfield, Massachusetts.  Allen, who was arraigned on murder charges, then denied bail (?), following an altercation at the Fat Cat Bar (pic) where Allen either worked as a bouncer, or was working as a bouncer, or had worked as a bouncer.   This fact is unclear--based on statements by the Bar owner's attorney who rest assured is doing his best to muddy the waters in an effort to help the bar owners avoid civil liability for the death of patron 25 year old Francis Fasanelli.
According to the report at MassLive Fasanelli had been trying to gain entrance into the nightclub but had been denied entry because of a "dress code violation," but had twice gained entrance and twice been ejected.  Outside the bar he got into an altercation with Mr. Allen.  Here are the facts that are supplied in the report:

"This was an unusual circumstance," defense lawyer, Ferrara said, saying that there could have been a situation where a blow was struck but there was a 'secondary impact' with the victim hitting his head.  Allen was originally charged with assault and battery with intent to commit serious bodily injury.  Police obtained surveillance footage from cameras outside the bar that shows the start of the altercation between Fasanelli and Allen but not any exchange of blows.  Police said the investigation revealed that Fasanelli had apparently been denied entry into Fat Cat for a dress code violation. At some point, he managed to sneak inside the bar’s outside courtyard through a fence, but was discovered and escorted outside. He apparently tried to sneak in again, and at that point while still outside the bar he got into a verbal dispute with Allen that escalated into a fight."

That's it.  Murder?  How does, this guy get charged with murder? 

This week in the comments section of the post about the guy who stabbed his live-in girlfriend.  My cyberpal, Gayle has had me thinking about first principles in the law.  As ususal she is writing eloquently about justice in connection with the Merchant of Venice.   

Regarding first principles, doctrinally, when we discuss the crime of murder is to recognize that two elements are required to be shown: the criminal act of homicide, in other words a human kills another human plus necessary criminal intent or mens rea.  Returning to first principles you might be surprised to lear that the concept of murder is discussed repeatedlyin the Torah or Old Testament.  In fact the idea of "malice aforethought" is directly from the Book of Numbers attributed to none other than the lawgiver, Moses at Ch.35:20.  Amazingly, Moses also deals with the lesser act of mansluaghter 35:22-24.  While the penalty for muder is in the Old Testament is death, the provisions for reaching this judgment require a certitude that I'm not sure we approach in all of our sophistication, Deuteronomy 19:15-19 which also makes for provisions for Citys of Refuge for lesser acts of killing not arising to malicious acts of intentional murder--remember Cain?

So back to Mr Allen, how is it that this guy--who may or may not be a bouncer for the bar--gets himself charged with murder.  Something is a little off, and we need to mark this matter for follow up.

12 comments:

  1. Lucas exited the Bar jumped a fence a cold cocked Frankie from behind in the back of the head. He cracked his skull with one punch. Frankie was out cold before he hit the cement. How can that NOT BE MURDER. What if it was a Knife or a gun would that change the cicumstance on wehter people think it is murder or not. He took Frankies life period
    Since Lucas intentially jumped a fence and hit him with 300lbs of Fist Furry that is MURDER. Your Fists are weapons just like a gun or knife. So this is Murder in the First degree. After Lucas punched him and broke his skull he went back inside the bar and left Frankie for DEAD. Even though he saw Frankie Convulsing on the ground. That is intential homicide\murder. Why some judge would Let Lucas Out on Bail for 50k is ludicris, disrespectful to the family, and simply disgusting. Lucas is a REAL DANGER to society and should be put away for life and also face the death penalty. PERIOD.

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  2. Anon.12:25--

    Wow, thanks for supplying details. You do set up an interesting context, you also sound like you are personally related to the story,a nd to the extent that this awful loss has touched you I extend my condolences.

    The porblem with a murder charge is that the prosecution will have to prove that Lucas Allen intended to "kill" his victim. You describe a pretty compelling picture of a seriously demented assault and battery, but not "murder."

    Bail is not about "punishment," it is merely an instrument for guaranteeing an appearance in court. And as painful as this all seems to you now, bear in mind that until Mr. Allen is convicted or enters a guilty plea, he is presumed innocent.

    BL

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  3. Yes I am we Buried Frankie Monday. God rest his soul.
    As I said if it would have been a knife or a gun, would that change how people view this horrible crime. I'm certainly not a lawyer so I dont't understand the law in regards to this. When Lucas was first faced a judge the morning after the assult he told the Judge quote " I am a Danger to Society" this is why the Judge denied bail. I'm sure the court transcript will reflect that. Maybe you can explain to us why you feel this is not a murder?
    The facts are Lucas did intentially pursue Frankie with intent to hurt or kill him. Either way he is gone.
    Question to you. Does a Judge decide what the charge should be prior to a Jury Selection or does the Jury have the right to convict him with a Murder charge.
    I guess the Jury will have to decide his fate in the end regardless.

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  4. Anon 8:10--I am so sorry for your loss. What an unbelievable tragedy to have to endure. Justice as it is, is so inadequate to the loss you and your family have sustained.

    You raise two points in this and in your original comment. HOw is what Mr. Allen is alleged to have done "not murder;" and, how is it if he is a dangerous--that he can be granted bond or bail?

    Murder is the intentional killing of another, or "homicide + intent." A conviction for murder will require proof that Allen killed Frankie--and intended to kill Frankie. Generally speaking this means prior to this incident, Allen had formed an intention to to kill Frankie. The fact that during this incident Allen acted with a reckless abandonment for the life of Frankie; generally speaking will not support a conviction for murder.

    A subsidiary part of your question relates to the process of charging a person, indicting a person, and subsequently prosecuting an individual. I really don't know enough about Mass. criminal justice to offer much insight. But I would tell you that at various levels of a criminal prosecution different levels of "proof" are required. So for instance for a criminal indictiments, "probabale cause" is required versus a criminal conviction which requires proof "beyond a reasonable doubt."

    The bail/bond issue is troubling because in our system of jurisprudence, a person is presumed innocent and incarceration can only be used for limited purposes prior to a conviction for a crime. One of these reasons is what you allude to which is that the criminal defendnat is "a danger to others." Again you know more than any reader of Bad Lawyr, but being a dangerous bully is different than being an actual threat to others, for example, the criminal defendant might kill others to cover up his original crime. I'm sure none of this makes a whole lot of sense, but I am so grateful that you have commented, here, and I invite you to keep me posted. If I can I will continue to tell this story.

    BL

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  5. There is much more to this story that isnt being told in the media or by this supporter of Francis. Francis was threatening everyone outside the bar with claims that he was going to shoot up the bar. Luke told him to go to another bar and relax and he challenged Luke to a fight. After Luke declined Francis continued to threaten him for 5 more minutes until Luke finally took his offer and hit him one time. It was indeed a terrible accident that he fell on the concrete but it could have been avoided if he had not threatened the bar staff and patrons.

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    Replies
    1. Frankie ALWAYS did that sort of thing, I predicted back around 2002 or so when he pulled the same crap on me in the King Street Mobil parking lot. I still don't thing he "deserved" it, but it was bound to happen.

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  6. Your a lyer. May Luke rot in JAIL

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  7. I think you mean "You're a liar". No, I'm not a liar. This man had a history of starting fights and being a bully. Infact his friend Vic Pomerleau, who has been threatening Luke's friends since the incident was involved in a case in 2002 where he and the deceased beat a man 6 on 1. I guess its a good thing that kid didn't die when Frankie and Vic were beating him.

    http://articles.courant.com/2002-01-31/news/0201311876_1_police-charge-school-bus-teens

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  8. Exactly. Francis for sure did not deserve to die, due to the fact that no one deserves to. But, Francis Fasanelli, an individual who has a violent histoy, was not an innocent victim some may think. He carried himself in a threatining manner to not just Luke, but to MANY patrons. Anyone who DISAGREES with this either was not there, or chooses not to believe what they cant accept. This was a horrible thing that happened to both sides.

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  9. what's the latest on this? Luke should be let out of jail.

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  10. Just because someone has a bad history doesn't mean they hadn't changed. And to the person who decided to bring up the past, if you knew the actual story you would know that he was there at the wrong time but didn't have part in it, so learn your facts. And about Frankie's death is a very upsetting and unfortunate event but Frankie was NOT a person to harm anyone and deserves justice for his death. Lucas knows what he did and will serve the the time he gets. It is just unfortuante that 2 lives had to be ruined by such a tragic event.

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  11. I knew Frankie, and although he had a lot of friends the kid had a problem controlling his mouth. He was constantly picking fights with bigger guys and getting beat up, or at least punked out. His propensity for this behavior is why this happened. Not saying that he deserved to die, but he sure was always into trouble.

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