Friday, January 8, 2016

**UPDATE** Amherst Doubles-Down on Petrit Vasi Case

Here's the response from Amherst, today. The Petrit Vasi hit and run is "open and active" even though the statute of limitations has expired. Also, for some reason they think it happened in August and not February.

**UPDATE**
A lot of talk about how the statute of limitations freezes if a suspect leaves the jurisdiction. This is not true the way it is being stated. The clock freezes only after a suspect is charged or a warrant is issued, and there is no evidence such a thing has happened here. What I think we're dealing with is a very stubborn person in a position of a little power.

16 comments:

  1. Well, haven't we discussed that if Maura WAS involved in the Vasi hit and run and then intentionally disappeared to avoid repercussions that the statute of limitations would not have expired? What if they have evidence that it was her and the case remains open because her whereabouts are unknown?

    Just a thought...

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  2. Maybe their Records Office has a Time Traveler among them.

    Couldn't resist.

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    1. Hey everybody! We got a comedian!

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    2. Lol that made me chuckle. Great comment haha

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  3. Wouldn't the statute of limitations be tolled during the time the suspected offender is a fugitive? Perhaps they do have a fugitive suspect and that is why the statute of limitations hasn't expired and the case remains active?

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  4. "open and active" case and they don't even know when did it happen :) it's not only a typo or a mistake, they also said "august" in the previous response you got from them. how unprofessional.

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    1. That's rite Anonymous very unprofessional and thensome..lol..

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  5. I am not sure what the Massachusetts statute of limitations law is exactly but in some states the statute only runs if the prosecuted person remains in the jurisdiction. If they flee it is suspended until they return. This is to keep criminals from fleeing until the statute runs out. This may be their excuse for not giving out documents.

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  6. Very odd that it says it happened in Aug. 04 instead of Feb. 04. I wonder if August was the first time police could speak to Vasi?
    Why continue to say that it's an ongoing open investigation, if statue of limitations have passed. If the person of interest is missing/ where about are unknown, does the statue of limitations clock stop?
    If so, and Maura was involved and still alive today, then this could be a Big reason she hasn't came out of hiding.

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  7. Why does the La Cucino Di Ponocchio receipt posted online say 11-01-03? Is this receipt from Maura using the stolen credit card?

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  8. They're really making themselves look stupid by constantly referencing that this hit and run took place six months after it actually did.

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  9. I thought James answered the question about the statute of limitations being suspended only if a suspect is charged or an arrest warrant is issued. So police can suspect you all they want, but unless they have enough evidence to for a charge or an arrest warrant, the clock of the statute of limitations would keep ticking, no?

    To our knowledge (I have no idea if LE is allowed to keep that a secret) neither of these things happened to Maura.

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  10. Your update on the statute of limitations exception doesn't make sense because if the suspect has already been charged (or warrant issed) there'd be no need for any exception in the first place. Respectfully, I think your source may have unintentionally misled you on that point of law. Not trying to buy picayune, but this detail matters quite a bit.

    Any readers have a link to a clear, concise source for this point of MA criminal law?

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  11. Official charges are a sufficient condition for tolling, but not a necessary one. The time period can also be tolled if a defendant actively flees or conceals herself before being charged. Massachusetts is one of the states that place least restrictions on tolling: "Any period during which the defendant is not usually and publicly a resident within the commonwealth shall be excluded in determining the time limited."

    It's worth remembering also that the statute of limitations is not a defendant's only recourse when charges are filed long after the date of the alleged crime. A defendant also has the right to move for dismissal on various other grounds, especially on grounds that the delay was prejudicial. And the prosecution will face many problems related to finding witnesses, questions about the reliability of their memories, and so on.

    In the Vasi case, though, I think all this is practically irrelevant. Mr Vasi doesn't remember what happened to him. There were no witnesses. Physical and medical evidence are ambiguous. Amherst police aren't trying to protect the possibility of a prosecution in a case in which they have no evidence. They are merely attempting to avoid setting a precedent that they fear would encourage more requests like Mr Renner's.

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  12. You are correct James that a statute of limitations can only be tolled by a motion made by the DA .... in connection with wanting to or having had already arrested someone for a crime. Statute of limitations is the basis for a motion to dismiss. Tolling the statute of limitations (for one of several statutory reasons) is a way to defend against such a motion. There is not a statute of limitations clock running that stops under certain circumstances.

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