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Suffolk County DA to appeal judge’s verdict in illegal gun possession case

Suffolk DA will appeal decision from 2010 arrest

The Suffolk district attorney’s office is appealing a gun case involving a Mattapan man after a judge overturned the jury’s guilty verdict of possession of a loaded firearm without a license.

Errol Reece, 21, of Mattapan, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm in 2010, said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney.

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Reece’s trial began Wednesday in Suffolk County gun court and the jury found him guilty of all three charges yesterday after a seven-hour deliberation, Wark said. Judge Franco Gobourne then overturned the verdict.

The case dates to June 20, 2010, when officers saw a group of individuals, including Reece, surrounding a car on Woolson Street in Mattapan, the police report said.

Officers smelled burnt marijuana coming from the car, and also saw Reece “lean into the open passenger-side door, bend over at the waist and quickly bring his body back out of the vehicle,’’ according to the report.

During a search of the car, officers found a loaded .25-caliber handgun under the passenger seat, the report said. It said they also found a man who was drunk and “passed out’’ in the back seat. When Reece saw the officers looking under the seat and asking for identification, he backed away from the vehicle and was then arrested, police said.

Wark said the evidence provided at the trial proved Reece’s guilt.

“We are baffled as to how this can happen in a case where the evidence, and the jury’s verdict, was so clear,’’ Wark said. “We are appealing immediately. We expect to file paperwork as soon as Monday with the Massachusetts Appeals Court.’’

The defense for Reece twice filed a motion asking the judge to find the defendant not guilty, contending that the evidence presented was not sufficient to convict him.

The first motion, which was denied, was filed after the prosecution rested its case, Wark said.

The second was filed before the case went to the jury.

Gobourne granted the motion after the jury made its decision.

Joan Kenney, a court spokeswoman, was unable to comment on the case yesterday because the clerk’s office was already closed.

She said she would be unable to get in touch with Gobourne until Monday, but added that Gobourne was appointed as a judge in September 2010.

“This is making it harder for our officers to do their jobs,’’ said Daniel Linskey, superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department. “We will support the district attorney in appealing this.’’

Amanda Cedrone can be reached at acedrone@globe.com.
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