Documents on the death of Joshua Messier

After 23-year-old Joshua Messier died while being restrained by guards at the state's prison for the mentally ill, prosecutors declined to press charges even though a medical examiner concluded his death was a homicide, and three other agencies later faulted the guards for mistreating Messier.

Review documents related to the incident: Death certificate | Autopsy report | Internal Affairs report | Statement from DA | Disabled Persons Protection Commission findings | Letter to DA from lawyer for victim's parents | Findings by Department of Correction


Death certificate for Joshua K. Messier

The state medical examiner's listing of Joshua's death as a "homicide," and the cause of death as "cardiopulmonary arrest during physical restraint, with blunt impact of head and compression of chest, while in agitated state."



Autopsy by state medical examiner

The complete autopsy by Dr. Mindy J. Hull revealing internal bleeding on Joshua's brain and blunt force injuring to his neck, torso and extremities.



Findings by Department of Correction's Internal Affairs unit

An investigation report citing two guards for “misconduct,” which was overruled after an executive review.



Statement from the office of Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz

A statement to the Globe asserting that state medical examiner Dr. Mindy J. Hull, in a private meeting with a prosecutor, found that Joshua was responsible for his own death, a conclusion at odds with her official autopsy.



Findings by state Disabled Persons Protection Commission

A letter to the Department of Correction finding "sufficient evidence" to conclude that the actions of two guards were responsible for Joshua's death.



Letter from attorney for Joshua’s parents to DA’s office

A letter from attorney Benjamin R. Novotny to the Plymouth District Attorney's office requesting a renewed criminal investigation.



Findings by Department of Correction's Special Operations Division

A review by the Special Operations Division rejecting Bridgewater's explanation for the behavior of guards in the cell where Joshua was killed.


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