Appeals Court tosses new trial for shooter who triggered fatal asthma attack

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Appeals Court has reversed a judge’s decision to grant a new trial to a man who caused another man to have an asthma attack in 2013 after opening fire on him in Dorchester, officials said.

The nine-page decision, announced Tuesday, came after Suffolk prosecutors appealed Judge Edward Liebensperger’s 2017 order granting Michael Stallings, 29, a new trial, according to a press release issued by Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

Stallings was armed with a .40 caliber handgun when he opened fire at a group of men in the area of Blue Hill Avenue and Pasadena Road on the night of Jan. 23, 2012, causing Kelvin Rowell to flee, which resulted in him having a severe asthma attack brought on by the stress and exertion of running away.

Rowell fell into a coma and died on March 5.

Rowell was among those in that group. Like others, he ran from the gunfire – but soon collapsed as he suffered a severe asthma attack brought on by the stress and exertion of fleeing down Pasadena Road. He died on March 5, 2012.

Conley supported the Appeals Court’s decision.

“Neither the facts nor the law warranted a new trial here,” Conley said in a statement. “The defendant received a fair trial with the assistance of highly effective and experienced counsel. The trial jury found that a person who opens fire on a busy street without warning or provocation is responsible for what happens next, and the Appeals Court’s decision was the right one.”

Stallings was indicted on Jan. 31, 2013, convicted on June 1, 2015, and sentenced to a term of six to eight years in state prison.

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