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Commonwealth’s Memorandum In Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

The device worn by the defendant to Logan Airport was an assembled object. The defendant asserts that the device she wore to Logan airport does not constitute a hoax device because “separate components … cannot constitute a hoax device.” (D. Supp. Mem. 13). The defendant, however, cites no authority for this proposition and declines to inform the Court how this proposition, even if true, specifically applies to the defendant in this case. Presumably, the defendant is referring to the fact that she disconnected the 9-volt battery from the rest of her device upon leaving Terminal C. The defendant’s argument fails for two reasons. Most obviously, it fails because a person who violates G.L. c. 266, § 102A1/2, by employing a hoax device with the required intent, does not escape criminal liability because she thereafter disassembles the device. The defendant in this case can no more escape criminal liability under § 102A1/2 than can a defendant escape liability for unlawful possession of a firearm because, after he displays the firearm in question, he disassembles it. It was still a firearm at the time of the offense. In this case, the battery was attached to the defendant’s device from the time she entered Terminal C until the time she left it. It is irrelevant that she detached the battery as she left the terminal.

Second, in Carter, the Supreme Judicial Court said only that “the infernal machine condemned by § 102A must be an assembled object,” Id. at 208, and not that it must have a battery attached to it. Even after detaching the 9-volt battery, the defendant still wore an assembled object on her chest, comprised of a circuit board, wires, and numerous LEDs. If the device still was such as “would cause a person reasonably to believe that such device was an infernal machine,” it still constituted a hoax device. G.L. c. 266, § 102A1/2.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Commonwealth respectfully requests that this Court deny the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.

Source: Jake Wark, spokesperson for the Suffolk

County District Attorney’s Office