As a Norfolk County, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, a lot of people have asked me my opinion about an especially loathsome criminal convict who has re-emerged in the news lately, Charles Jaynes. If you don’t know who he is, or why he is making news right now, here’s a recap.
Jaynes was one of two men who were found guilty of the1997 kidnapping, rape and murder of 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley. Salvatore Sicari, twenty-one, and Jaynes, twenty-two, were the two men who were convicted. Jeffrey Curley was a child who had been befriended by Sicari, who lived only a block away. The two men became friendly with young Jeffrey, and took him on car rides, out for dinners. They offered to replace his bicycle after it was stolen with a new one, in exchange for sex. But the 10-year-old refused. As a result, Jaynes killed Jeffrey in the car’s backseat. Sicari confessed to his part in the murder but he insisted that Jaynes was the killer. Both men were charged and found guilty of child molestation, kidnapping and murder. Jaynes was convicted of murder in the second degree (a key to what is now going on.)
It was heinous crime that is still almost unspeakable in its savagery. Jaynes and Sicari smothered the boy with a gasoline-soaked rag when he resisted their sexual advances. As sickening as this is to think of, the two men then sodomized the boy’s body after they killed him. This innocent boy’s tortured, molested body was found in a Maine river, in a cement-weighted plastic container. At his trial in1998, Jaynes, like all criminal defendants, was entitled to a strong defense — and it was given to him at taxpayer expense. As a Dedham-Westwood criminal defense attorney, I agree with that. Jaynes got the trial he deserved, he got the defense he was legally entitled to, and was eventually convicted.
Now here’s the shocker. Because he was convicted or Second Degree Murder and not First Degree Murder, Jaynes is eligible for parole in 2013, which is 15 years after his conviction. (First Degree murder convictions are not eligible for parole.) He hopes to get it. So hopeful, in fact, that he’s concocted a scheme to change his name, so that he can live a new life incognito if he were released on parole after 15 years. Jaynes, now 37, listed his reason for changing his name as “Wiccan religious tennet,” on the petition filed in June with Plymouth Probate Court. He wants to change his name to “Manasseh-Invictus Auric Thutmose V” because of his conversion to Wiccanism – believe it or not.
As a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, how do I feel about this? I’m beyond angry that this monster is making this claim. His request should be thrown out of court, immediately. Surprised? Don’t be. I’m a very aggressive and relentless criminal defense attorney: I believe that all people charged by the state with a crime should have a very aggressive legal defense. That’s how I defend all my clients. If someone is convicted, and there were no errors in the procedure of the trial, or what are called “errors of law,” then little else is arguable. My chief concern is two-fold: 1) Did this convict receive the best, most aggressive legal defense possible? and 2) Did the trial judge make any appealable errors?
Neither of these occured with Jaynes’ trial and conviction. He had his day in court – and he was convicted through overwhelming, and sickening, evidence. This twisted attempt at a “new name” is nothing less than a ruse and a farce. I pray the Probate Court judge hearing this matter will throw it out as fast as possible.