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Posted by / 11-Nov-2020 18:06

Probation officer charged with intimidating witness

Hoffman and his parents were good friends with William H. “All these statements were made to silence Maureen Adams, to prevent her from being forthcoming with the FBI,” Bell said. Hoffman was nervous he could lose his job and he also wanted to protect Burke, she said.“He knew the FBI would ask about his relationship with William Burke,” Bell said.Burke III, of Hatfield, the indicted former state deputy probation commissioner who controlled much of the hiring and promotions in probation in Western Massachusetts. “He wanted to plant a seed to influence what she said.”As part of the investigation into hiring practices at probation, Burke, along with former probation commissioner John J.WORCESTER – After about four hours of deliberations, jurors on Friday failed to reach a verdict in the witness-intimidation trial of the acting chief probation officer for Hampshire Superior Court. Jurors took up the case at about noon on Friday, after listening to closing statements in the morning from prosecutors and a defense lawyer. Hoffmanof Hatfield, the acting chief probation officer who is on administrative leave without pay, is charged with two counts of witness tampering.The jury of 10 men and two women will return on Monday to begin deliberating again at U. Hoffman elected not to testify in his own defense during the trial, which began on Monday before Judge Timothy S. A small parade of probation officers and support staff from Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties testified during the trial, which often focused on a system of hiring in the state Probation Department that favored connected people such as Hoffman.The witness intimidation statute in the Commonwealth is serious, broadly written, and extraordinarily harsh.They are also poorly understood by police, judges, prosecutors and attorneys alike.In true witness intimidation cases the first issue is identity -- can the police prove who it was that was responsible for the allegedly intimidating acts?

Of course, the legislature could always change this result by changing the law, but one hopes that if that is in the offing, the legislature will also reconsider the impossibly vague language it used to define the fairly significant felony charge of witness intimidation in the future. If found guilty, Hoffman faces up to 20 years in jail on the charge of witness tampering through intimidation and up to three years in prison on the less serious count of witness tampering through attempted harassment.By Bill Grimes Effingham Daily News EFFINGHAM, Ill.Muckle, holding that the witness intimidation statute can only be prosecuted in the District and Municipal Courts (as opposed to the Superior Court), in cases where the alleged victim is a "witness or juror." The SJC in Muckle ruled that where the alleged victim falls into any of the numerous other categories of persons, the prosecutor can only proceed by indictment, which is a much more involved procedure. The categories of alleged victims whose cases can now only be prosecuted by indictment include "police office," "judge," "grand juror," "defense attorney," "prosecutor," "clerk," "court officer," "probation officer," and the most ambiguous of all, any person "furthering," "attending" or who has "made known his intention to attend" a trial or an investgiation.

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Meanwhile, the offense is a felony, and as a general rule, you should always make the Commonwealth prove its case when you are charged with a felony.