District attorney butts heads with judge - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

District attorney butts heads with judge

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Dee DeQuattro


Massachusetts District Attorney Sam Sutter is butting heads with a district court judge over a man arrested on a drive-by shooting style crime and released on $1,000 cash bail.

Sutter says Teigan Pina of New Bedford was charged with carrying and illegal firearm, carrying a loaded illegal firearm, discharging an illegal firearm within 500 feet of the building, resisting arrest and vandalizing property in connection with shots fired on Monday night.

Police say that they pursue a car believed to be associated with the shooting and were led on a high speed chase that at times was the wrong way down one way streets.

Upon stopping the vehicle the driver Cory Hayden, 25, turned himself over without incident however Pina refused to get out of the vehicle.

Pina was pulled out of the car and brought to the ground then arrest. A search of the vehicle revealed two shell casings but no firearm.

Sutter says at the arraignment prosecutors requested a dangerousness hearing but Judge W. James O'Neill denied the request. Prosecutors also requested bail be revoked because of a pending vandalism charged but the Judge again rejected the request.

 "What Judge W. James O'Neil did yesterday in New Bedford District Court was, in my view, unlawful and unacceptable.  He blatantly disregarded a clearly defined provision of law, (ch. 276, sect. 58a), which allows the district attorney to move for a dangerousness hearing when a defendant is charged with illegally carrying a firearm. I cannot let this kind of blatant disregard for the law go unchallenged," said Sutter. "I will immediately, meaning today, file an appeal of Judge O'Neil's decision to the Supreme Judicial Court of this state, and I will personally stay directly involved in this case. Our legislative delegation and I fought for 18 months to make the charge of carrying an illegal firearm on the street a crime which allowed the district attorney to move for a dangerousness hearing. I want the public to know that every time something like this happens we, at the district attorney's office, are not going to stand by idly. We are going to take action."

(c) WLNE-TV 2013


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