New trial in 2004 landlord killing

BOSTON (State House News Service) - In a ruling that a defense lawyer said could reverberate in future criminal trials, the state’s high court on Monday threw out the conviction of a Lowell man found guilty of stabbing his landlord more than 100 times.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the judge who presided over the case – Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman - provided “flawed” instructions to a jury about drug use and mental illness. The SJC returned the matter to the Middlesex court for a new trial, and Middlesex County District Attorney Gerard Leone indicated he intended to retry the case.

The defendant, Nino DiPadova, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Nancy Carignan in 2004, despite contending that he was in a state of hallucination brought on by severe mental illness, including bipolar disorder with “psychotic features,” posttraumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The effects of those illnesses, including hearing voices in his head, were exacerbated, according to the defense, by cocaine use.

Courts Opinion