Bail violations jail boyfriend of heroin OD victim
GREENFIELD — A local man awaiting trial on charges relating to a string of burglaries this summer was back in jail on Monday following alleged bail violations during an investigation into the overdose death of his girlfriend, identified as Julia Kennan.
The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday that Kennan was the 25-year-old woman who died of an apparent heroin overdose on Friday at 11 Westwood Road, an address she shared with Patrick A. Boyer.
“The tragic death of another young person in Franklin County, from an apparent heroin overdose, underscores the public health crisis from opioid abuse,” District Attorney David Sullivan wrote in a release. “The lack of detoxification and treatment resources in Franklin County and western Massachusetts needs to be addressed to help prevent such tragedies.”
Boyer, 27, is awaiting trial on breaking and entering and similar charges related to July 11 burglaries in Montague and Sunderland, in which police allege he and two others removed the electrical meters from a string of businesses before breaking in. Boyer has pleaded innocent and was free on bail.
Franklin Superior Court Probation Officer Michael Gralenski told Judge John A. Agostini Monday in Franklin Superior Court that Boyer failed to report to probation during the investigation into his girlfriend’s death Friday and subsequently admitted heroin use to police.
Gralenski said Boyer did eventually speak to a Massachusetts State Police trooper Friday and admitted to purchasing two bundles in Holyoke with his girlfriend on Thursday. A bundle is slang for 10 single-dose bags of heroin. Police say heroin is generally cheaper and purer in Holyoke, West Springfield and other larger cities than it is in Franklin County towns.
Gralenski asked Agostini to set bail at $50,000, citing the alleged violations and what he said were possible additional charges from the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.
The Greenfield Police Department, state police and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating Kennan’s death.
“There is an ongoing investigation into Julia Kennan’s death and we cannot comment on pending investigations or potential. There is no official cause of death pending an autopsy and toxicology tests performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” wrote NWDA spokeswoman Mary Carey on Tuesday.
Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Bucci spoke in support of Gralenski’s request for a high bail figure.
Bucci said Boyer’s record includes 25 breaking and entering convictions, and that he faces an additional six breaking and entering or attempted breaking and entering indictments.
Bucci said Boyer admitted on tape in the Friday interview to injecting heroin every day, heroin he purchased in Holyoke with Kennan. Boyer told police Kennan was also on methadone and had a five-bag-a-day heroin habit, Bucci said.
Attorney David Rountree, who said he was temporarily representing Boyer in the absence of his usual lawyer at Monday’s bail hearing, said Boyer told him he is not using heroin and had lied in the interview with state police.
“He tells me that parts of that statement are false, that he falsely admitted some things, some illegal things, in order to protect the name of his girlfriend,” Rountree said.
Rountree said Boyer did not report to probation Friday because he was busy speaking to a police officer and was broken up over the death of his girlfriend.
Boyer was arrested in Sunderland Friday evening on three default warrants.
“It isn’t that he didn’t report to probation; he didn’t report to probation immediately,” Rountree said.
Rountree said Boyer is clean and not using heroin, requesting that the probation department test him for the drug.
Gralenski said that since his release on bail, Boyer has religiously submitted prescriptions for the painkiller oxycodone for various injuries. “If he’s on oxycodone, we can’t tell if he’s on heroin,” Gralenski said.
Oxycodone and heroin are both opium derivatives.
Rountree said it is “absolutely not true” that oxycodone masks heroin, and that Northampton’s probation office is capable of testing for both.
Agostini set Boyer’s bail at $10,000 cash or surety in the current bail violation matter, and remanded him to the Franklin County House of Correction on Monday in lieu of bail.
You can reach Chris Curtis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 257