Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Messier Report

"Report rebukes DA’s handling of Bridgewater death" by Michael Rezendes Globe Staff  May 13, 2015

BROCKTON — The state medical examiner who ruled that the 2009 death of a patient at Bridgewater State Hospital was a homicide has accused the office of District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz of misrepresenting her opinions as Cruz tried to explain why he did not pursue criminal charges in the case.

The medical examiner, Mindy J. Hull, has never spoken publicly about Cruz’s decision not to seek charges in Joshua K. Messier’s death, which she ruled a homicide at the hands of prison guards. But in testimony released Tuesday, Hull told a judge reviewing the case that she was “a little bit angry” that Cruz made it seem as though she blamed Messier for causing his own death.

Hull said a 2013 statement issued by Cruz to the Globe could have left the impression that Messier, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was primarily responsible for his own death when he started a fight with prison guards, absolving the guards who manhandled him and strapped his wrists and ankles to a bed. In the statement, Cruz cited a conversation that his investigators had with Hull.

“The problem I have with that statement is the fact that it places blame on Joshua Messier,” Hull said in her March 12 testimony, noting that she ruled the death a homicide, which, by definition, is a death suffered at the hands of another person.

Although the specifics of Cruz’s statement were accurate, Hull said, the wording was open to misinterpretation.

Judge Mark S. Coven’s judicial inquest into the case led to statewide grand jury indictments against three former Bridgewater guards last month, after special prosecutor Martin F. Murphy reviewed Coven’s report and found sufficient evidence for manslaughter and civil rights charges.

Coven’s report, made public Tuesday, is a stinging rebuke to Cruz....


Honestly, it's a staines on the state.

Of course, things are all better now.

Related: Parents sue state for access to Bridgewater day care records

I would be expecting some lawsuits there, too.