The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a Quincy man whose marijuana-possession conviction was set aside because the pot had been tested by infamous result forger Annie Dookhan can't get back the $830 in probation and victim-assistance fees he paid after he initially pleaded guilty. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Daniel Francis, whom a jury found guilty of trafficking crack in 2005 because a key part of the evidence against him was certification from the disgraced chemist that the substance police found in his car - and in the mouth of a man who'd just left his car - was crack. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that people facing new drug trials because their evidence was handled by convicted state chemist Annie Dookhan cannot be brought up on more severe charges the second time around - and can't get sentences more severe than the ones originally imposed. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that people seeking to overturn drug convictions based on the work of disgraced state chemist Annie Dookhan still have to prove that was the overriding reason they agreed to plead guilty.
In several rulings today, the court agreed that Dookhan's thousands of falsifications represented an "egregious" ethical and legal breach and that lawyers for defendants would not have to spend any time trying to prove that.
But as in earlier cases involving work by state chemists and technicians, the court said that by itself that doesn't mean an automatic reversal of a guilty plea or finding.
Ultimately, a defendant's decision to tender a guilty plea is a unique, individualized decision, and the relevant factors and their relative weight will differ from one case to the next. ... Moreover, a particular case may give rise to consideration of additional relevant factors not identified (in earlier cases), such as whether the defendant was indicted on additional charges and whether the drug-related charges were a minor component of an over-all plea agreement.
The court detailed its reasoning in the case of a Boston man who had originally admitted to sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilty on possession of crack in 2011, only to have his case continued without a finding on condition he stay out of trouble for a year. When he was arrested on an assault-and-battery charge, he was also charged with violating probation for the drug charge.
Rakim Scott then moved to have the drug plea revoked, because Dookhan had certified the substance he was found with was crack. A lower-court judge agreed, but Suffolk County prosecutors appealed.
The court sent the case back to a lower court for a hearing on whether Scott's decision to admit to sufficient facts was based on factors other than Dookhan's work:
[W]e conclude that because Dookhan signed the drug certificate as an assistant analyst in Scott's case, and because Scott offered the signed drug certificate in support of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, Scott is entitled to a conclusive presumption that Dookhan's misconduct was egregious, is attributable to the government, and occurred in his case. However, we vacate the order allowing the defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, and we remand this case for findings on the question whether there is a reasonable probability that the defendant would not have pleaded guilty had he known of Dookhan's misconduct at the Hinton drug lab.
A man sprung from prison thanks to disgraced chemist Annie Dookhan was charged with heroin possession after he tried to evade a routine traffic stop in Hyde Park, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Pedro Hernandez, 46, of Lawrence, had a five-year heroin sentence stayed last year because Dookhan processed some of the drug evidence against him. According to the DA's office, police found him with "four tightly bundled sticks of heroin weighing approximately 41 grams" following an attempted traffic stop on West Street near Summer Street:
Two men convicted of drug dealing who asked to be let out of prison because of problems at state drug labs will stay in prison while their cases are reconsidered, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Landers Ivey, 53, demanded to be "immediately released" while his latest conviction was reviewed, because of the scandal at state drug labs, in particular the one in Jamaica Plain, where chemist Annie Dookhan is accused of just making results up.
Boston Police report that when six drug dealers got into a loud, angry argument inside a Blue Hill Avenue apartment early Saturday, somebody called police. Arriving officers surrounded the building and arrested them all - but only after three tried to escape by climbing on the roof of the neighboring building and then jumping back on the roof of the building they'd just fled.
A Chelsea man released from a 2 1/2-jail sentence for drug dealing because his evidence was certified by former state chemist Annie Dookhan wound up back in jail yesterday after police found him in possession of "eight baggies of suspected crack cocaine packaged for individual sale," the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
The DA's office says Chelsea officers responded to the Bellingham Square McDonald's last night when Jonathan Vaughan, 26, allegedly refused a request to leave when workers saw him drinking a can of Natural Ice Beer. According to the DA's office:
A man released on $250 bail for his fourth drug-trafficking conviction because the drugs in the case were tested by alleged disgraced chemist Annie Dookhan was back in court today after prosecutors said undercover officers bought some crack off him near Tufts Medical Center on Saturday.
Louis Anthony Williams, 30, of Roxbury was ordered held on $15,000 bail on the new charge - and had his bail on a previous case revoked - the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Williams had been released Oct. 22 during a hearing on a 2011 coke-distribution conviction. According to the DA's office:
UPDATE: Judge Mark Hart Summerville set bail for the watch case at $500 and denied a request from the DA's office to revoke Quiles's release on personal recognizance in the open drug case.
A man allowed freedom after the drug evidence against him turned out to have been tested by ex-chemist Annie Dookhan was arrested yesterday on charges he and a pal stole 13 watches from the Downtown Crossing Macy's.
Transit Police report officers' attention was aroused when they spotted two guys acting all suspicious on a platform at the Chinatown Orange Line stop around 10:15 a.m. yesterday:
A man released from prison thanks to possible tampering of the evidence against him by former state chemist Annie Dookhan is scheduled for arraignment today on a new charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Torrie Haynes, 30, of Dorchester, was arrested near East Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue Friday afternoon, the DA's office says:
At the time of his most recent arrest, Haynes was wearing a GPS monitoring device as a condition of a stay of his sentence on the earlier conviction.
Enrique Camilo, 38, of Roslindale, was ordered held on $100,000 bail today on charges he was the owner of a pound of cocaine police say they found in his Claron Street home.
Camilo was already out on bail in a drug case out of Norfolk County when he had his bail changed to personal recognizance because it turned out the chemist in that case was Annie Dookhan, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports, adding it had asked for $1 million bail.
A roving UHub Web browser points us to an
ambulance Annie chaser with a Web site featuring a grinning OJ Simpson lookalike holding a stack of Benajmins:
Are you a victim of the MA Drug Lab Scandal?
Our Lawyers can help you get the compensation that you deserve!
The Globe reports Mayor Menino wants the state to fork over $15 million for the costs of supervising all those drug suspects being freed thanks to former state employee Annie Dookhan.
The Globe reports as many as 200 cases in federal court may have been tainted by everybody's favorite drug chemist.
A Suffolk Superior Court judge this morning issued an arrest warrant for Marcus Pixley, who skipped out on a scheduled court appearance yesterday on drug-distribution charges, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Pixley was originally held on $5,000 bail for his February, 2011 arrest in the South End for allegedly selling two bags of crack to an undercover police officer. Police say Pixley swallowed a third bag and tossed a fourth into the snow.
The DA's office reports a judge reduced his bail to $1,000 after his lawyer told the judge the coke samples had all been tested by Annie Dookhan, herself arrested last week on charges of intentionally screwing up thousands of drug samples at the state lab where she formerly worked.
At a press conference yesterday, state Attorney General Martha Coakley minced no words about Annie Dookhan, the state chemist accused of tampering with drug samples in thousands of criminal cases:
Annie Dookhan's alleged actions corrupted the integrity of the entire criminal justice system. There are many victims as a result of this.
A man indicted last year as on charges of being a repeat cocaine dealer will likely have the charges dropped next week because of problems related to the substance former state chemist Annie Dookhan certified was cocaine, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Specifically, the DA's office reports, re-testing by State Police shows the material was, in fact, an inert substance. At a hearing on Oct. 5 in Suffolk Superior Court, prosecutors will file a document known as a nolle prosequi asking that the charges against Jeffrey Banks be dropped.
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