The lawyer for disgraced chemist Annie Dookhan is seeking to have 11 obstruction of justice charges against her dismissed, arguing that there is no evidence that his client willfully misled anyone during her testimony in those cases in Essex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Middlesex, and Bristol Counties.
On May 7, Suffolk Superior Court judge Jeffrey Locke rejected a similar motion by lawyer Nicolas Gordon to have two obstruction of justice charges in Suffolk County dismissed. Locke ruled that her testimony, specifically that she had a master’s degree from UMass, was misleading. A law enforcement investigation revealed that she did not hold such a degree.
Rather than have 11 separate hearings on each charge from the five counties, there will be a single hearing before a Suffolk Superior Court judge to rule on this latest motion filed by Gordon. The hearing was scheduled for Friday but was rescheduled for June 27 because not all of the paperwork from those counties has arrived at the Suffolk courthouse.
Dookhan is under indictment on 27 charges, and the lab where she worked, a Department of Public Health facility at the Hinton Laboratory in Jamaica Plain, has been closed. The Patrick administration has estimated Dookhan’s alleged misdeeds affected 34,000 cases while the ACLU and the Committee on Public Counsel Services say as many as 190,000 cases should be dismissed. Dookhan has admitted to falsifying results over nine years.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said his office has handled roughly 2,000 cases so far involving drug defendants in prison or awaiting trial on drug charges, and that there are approximately 30 cases remaining. He was unsure how many of those defendants have been released, but said it was in the “hundreds.”
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