A 24 year old tenant was arrested for assaulting his landlord and his landlord’s
mother who was a senior citizen.
The tenant was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon,
a box cutter, assault and battery of a person over 60 and threatening
to commit a crime.
The landlord and the mother hatched a story of assault as a payback for
the tenant not paying the $3,000 rent he owed. The landlord and her mother
testified that the tenant owed about $3,000 in rent and that he threatened
them with a box cutter when the landlord demanded payment.
The tenant was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon,
assault and battery of a person over 60 and threatening to commit a crime.
He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
The tenant’s defense attorney later was able to get his convictions
vacated and a new trial after presenting a recording of a conversation
between the landlord and a woman the tenant’s wife had enlisted
to record the conversation. During the conversation, the landlord boasted
about falsely accused the tenant because of the unpaid rent.
According to a sworn statement, the landlord called the police and lied
about the tenant swinging the box cutter and the mother of the landlord
lied as well. They stated he deserved to be in jail for other things he
had done in the past.
After hearing the new evidence presented by the defense attorney, the judge
acquitted and released the tenant from prison.
The tenant later filed a lawsuit under a wrongful conviction statute, whereby
it was settled for $150,000.