Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
State v. Latraverse
Salvatore Lombardi, an undercover police detective, purchased four stolen cars from Paul Latraverse (Defendant). Defendant was subsequently arrested and arraigned on charges of receiving stolen goods. Defendant was freed on bail to await a grand jury proceeding at which Lombardi was to testify. Late one night, Lombardi was at home when he heard a car with a loud muffler. Lombardi looked outside and noticed a car with a license plate from Defendant’s dealership stop across the street. After waiting several minutes, Lombardi radioed for police backup. As the backup vehicle approached, Defendant’s vehicle made a U-turn and drove away. The backup vehicle pursued Defendant’s car. Upon searching inside, the police observed a can of gasoline, a rag, matches, a baseball bat, a hanger stretched to open a car door, and a threatening note addressed to Lombardi. Defendant was charged with attempting to knowingly and maliciously dissuade a police officer from giving testimony before a grand jury. After waiving a jury trial, Defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that he had abandoned his preparations to commit any criminal act. The trial judge ruled that the abandonment defense was unavailable and returned a conviction. Defendant appealed.
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