State & Region Briefs

  • FILE- In this March 27, 2017, file photo, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., addresses business leaders during a New England Council luncheon in Boston. Warren is slated to deliver the commencement address at Boston’s Wheelock College on Friday, May 19. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) Steven Senne

Friday, May 19, 2017
Convicted funeral director must pay $500K in restitution

NORTHAMPTON — A former Massachusetts funeral director who pleaded guilty to embezzling money from dozens of clients and improperly caring for dead bodies has been ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in restitution. A court judgment Thursday orders 55-year-old William Ryder to pay $471,446.

Ryder is serving a two-year jail sentence after pleading guilty in November to 69 counts of larceny and five counts of improper disposition of a human body.

Prosecutors say Ryder took money from clients who thought they were pre-paying for funeral arrangements then funneled it into personal business accounts.

Nearly $302,000 in proceeds from the sale of Ryder’s business and home is being held in trust by the state.

Sen. Warren tells grads ‘our democracy depends on you’

BROOKLINE — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is urging college graduates to help improve a political landscape that she described as “ugly and frustrating.”

Warren made the comments while delivering the commencement speech for Boston’s Wheelock College on Friday.

The first-term Massachusetts Democrat called on graduates to become political advocates for causes they support, adding that “our democracy depends on you.”

She also took a few jabs at President Donald Trump, saying the famed left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park is “the only wall I would like to see in this country.”

It was the second commencement address for Warren this month. Last Friday, she spoke at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Chief: Boy called police to say father had drugs in luggage

LAWRENCE — Authorities in Massachusetts are praising an 11-year-old boy who called police to report that his father had drugs in his luggage.

Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said the boy also told officers on Wednesday that he had seen his father selling drugs earlier in the day.

Fitzpatrick called the boy “brave.”

Police say they found more than 200 grams of heroin and the powerful opioid fentanyl, with a street value of about $8,500, in the suitcase.

Prosecutors say the father, 41-year-old Yamil Mercado, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of trafficking heroin and reckless endangerment of a child. It could not immediately be determined if he has a lawyer.

The boy is in the care of family members. The Department of Children and Families is investigating.

Child seriously hurt at elementary school when hit by SUV

WELLESLEY — An 8-year-old child is being treated for serious injuries after being hit by an SUV at a Massachusetts elementary school.

Police say the child was flown to a Boston hospital Thursday after being hit in a driveway at Schofield Elementary School in Wellesley.

Police say the vehicle was moving slowly as the driver looked for a parking spot when the child was hit. They say the driver stopped after the collision and got out of the vehicle to render medical aid. The driver was also sent to the hospital.

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. after school had dismissed. The child was there with a parent and is not a student at the school.

No charges have been filed.

2 arrested in connection with deadly brick attack

LYNN — Two people have been arrested in connection with a deadly assault in Lynn, in which police say the victim was struck in the head with a brick.

The Essex district attorney’s office says 19-year-old Werner Garcia Figueroa and 23-year-old Selvin Garcia are scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges including murder and armed robbery in connection with the assault. It’s not clear if they have attorneys.

Police say 39-year-old Sergio Sanchez and a 33-year-old Lynn man were walking to a residence from a city bar at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when they were attacked by two men.

Sanchez was struck in the head with a brick and died at the hospital on Monday. The other man survived that attack.

Investigators do not believe the suspects and victims know one another.