Mass. high court overturns manslaughter conviction in 2008 slaying

The state’s highest court has overturned the involuntary manslaughter conviction of a Boston man who allegedly killed his roommate in 2008 in a quarrel over missing drugs.

The Supreme Judicial Court ordered a new trial in the case of Anthony Chambers, who was convicted in the Feb. 10, 2008 death of Edward Quiles.

The court, in a unanimous ruling written by Justice Ralph D. Gants, said a Superior Court judge had erred by not allowing the defense to introduce evidence supporting its self-defense claim.

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The judge decided not to introduce evidence that Quiles had previously participated in a violent assault on somebody else because there was no dispute that Quiles was the aggressor in the fight, the court.

But the high court said in its unanimous ruling that there was a dispute over who escalated the fight by grabbing a knife and turning the conflict deadly – so the judge should have allowed the evidence in.

Chambers and Quiles allegedly fought after a golf ball-sized amount of heroin of Quiles’s went missing.