State & Region Briefs

Friday, February 23, 2018
Judge won’t dismiss officer’s negligence suit against bar

SALEM — A judge has refused to dismiss a negligence lawsuit against a restaurant for its alleged role in an attack on a police officer who had a piece of her ear bitten off.

The judge last week found that Salem’s Tavern in the Square could be liable for Officer Jessica Rondinelli’s injuries because she was acting as a rescuer when she arrested a 19-year-old woman that had been drinking at the establishment. That woman was convicted of assault and battery for biting the officer’s ear.

The restaurant argued the officer wasn’t a member of the general public and not owed a duty of care.

The judge concluded that the law imposes a duty of care on officers responding to calls stemming from negligence.

Woman to pay restitution to mother for theft

TAUNTON — A woman accused of stealing more than $83,000 from her elderly mother has been ordered to pay back most of the money.

Jane Hall, 63, of Hanson, made a payment of $15,000 at a hearing in Taunton District Court this week and if she repays the rest of the court-ordered restitution, her case may be dismissed without a conviction.

Investigators say Hall was managing her mother’s financial affairs from 2012 to 2015 when she transferred money from her mother’s bank account into her own.

Police say Hall claimed to have borrowed the money to pay for medical expenses.

Hall’s sister notified police of suspicious transactions when her mother became aware of them.

Hernandez’s fiancee sues to protect home sale

TAUNTON — Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee has sued the estates of three men the former New England Patriots player was charged with killing in an effort to ensure their daughter benefits from the sale of the ex-NFL star’s home.

The families of Odin Lloyd, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against Hernandez’s estate. Should they win, money from the mansion’s sale could be used to pay damages.

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez’s suit filed on behalf of their 5-year-old daughter requests a trial to determine whether Aaron Hernandez’s declaration of homestead remains in effect.

The Massachusetts Homestead Act protects up to $500,000 of a property’s equity from creditors.

Hernandez was acquitted of killing Abreu and Furtado days before his prison suicide. His death erased his 2015 conviction in Lloyd’s killing.

Couple face animal cruelty charges after dog dies

NORTH ADAMS — Two residents are facing animal cruelty charges after their malnourished dog was found dead in their home.

Trista Williams and Jesse Leydet, of North Adams, were released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty at their arraignment Thursday.

Williams’ mother reported to police Jan. 25 that the couple’s dog, Tig, was dead.

Leydet’s ex-wife told police that she found the dog lying in a crate, not breathing, while the couple was not at home.

Police say the crate was filled with animal waste, the dog appeared malnourished and the home was in “disarray.”

It was not immediately clear who represented the defendants.

Three killed in crash on way to funeral

FALL RIVER — Relatives say three Massachusetts residents who were killed in a rollover crash in New York were on their way to a funeral.

New York State Police responded to the crash on the New York State Thruway in Verona around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities say 81-year-old Maria Braga, 73-year-old David Botelho and 72-year-old Isabel Botelho were killed.

The car’s driver, 81-year-old Joao Braga, has been hospitalized for injuries sustained in the crash. His current condition is unknown.

Family members said the group was on their way to the funeral of David Botelho and Maria Braga’s brother in Toronto, Canada.

The crash is under investigation.

Woman withdraws complaint against former official

BOSTON — A woman who accused a former top Boston official of sexual harassment has withdrawn her complaint.

A spokesman with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination tells The Boston Globe the woman filed her complaint against Felix Arroyo in August and withdrew it Nov. 21. In a letter dated Nov. 28, an investigating commissioner with MCAD wrote the woman plans to pursue civil action.

The woman previously worked for Arroyo, and she claimed he had made sexually inappropriate comments and grabbed her bottom. Arroyo was dismissed from his job as chief of health and human services Aug. 24.

Arroyo’s attorney says the accusations were uncorroborated and lacking any credible basis. He says Arroyo has been vindicated.

The city has declined to comment on the case.

From Associated Press