State & Region Briefs

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Former postal worker pleads guilty to $20,000 embezzlement

BOSTON — A former postal worker has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $20,000 from the postal service.

Federal prosecutors say 37-year-old Dennis Reis, of Taunton, entered his plea Monday to one count of embezzlement and one count of theft of public money.

Reis formerly worked as the lead sales and service associate at the East Taunton Post Office.

Prosecutors say Reis’ embezzlement scheme involved him voiding cash sales of stamps by customers. Reis would then enter a “no sale” transaction and take the money paid by customers without the system accounting for it.

Authorities say the scheme lasted from January 2015 to March.

Reis faces up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for April 25.

Police: Woman stole from mom during her funeral

EAST BROOKFIELD — Police say a woman skipped her own mother’s funeral so she could break into the dead woman’s house and steal a safe filled with items worth $90,000.

Alyce Davenport, 30, was held on $15,000 bail after pleading not guilty Monday to seven charges. An alleged accomplice was held without bail on a warrant.

Police say Davenport and her accomplice went to the mother’s home on Friday during the funeral. Police say she did not attend her mother’s funeral and was not answering calls from relatives.

Police were tipped off about the alleged theft by the boyfriend of Davenport’s mother.

Davenport and her accomplice were found at a Sturbridge motel on Saturday.

Charges against fire chief dismissed

LOWELL — Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a fire chief who had been accused of choking and assaulting his wife because she asserted her marital privilege not to testify against him.

Ipswich Chief Gregory Gagnon’s trial was scheduled to start Monday, but instead prosecutors filed notification with the court that charges were being dropped because of insufficient evidence.

Gagnon, who spent 18 years as a Dracut firefighter before being named chief in 2014, has been on leave since the charges were filed in September. He underwent treatment and counseling during that time.

Ipswich’s town manager says Gagnon remains on leave, and has agreed to part ways with the town.

His lawyer says Gagnon is pleased the case is closed and is anxious to move forward.

Husband and wife win $1M prizes in separate contests

RANDOLPH — A man has won a $1 million jackpot in the state lottery just months after his wife won her own $1 million prize in a different contest.

Lottery officials say Robert Goodwin, of Randolph, won the money Monday after buying a $5 instant ticket for the $1,000,000 Platinum Payout game. He chose to accept the lump sum prize totaling about $650,000. His wife, Jane Goodwin, won $1 million in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes in August.

The Goodwins says they will use their winnings to buy a home in a community where they won’t have to shovel snow.

Judge postpones sentencing for fatal motorcycle crash

DANIELSON, Conn. — A judge has postponed the sentencing of a 22-year-old Massachusetts man charged in connection with a fatal motorcycle crash in Connecticut because one of the victim’s relatives works for the court.

Omar Velez was expected to plead guilty to a negligent homicide charge Monday before the judge learned the victim’s cousin is an employee at Danielson Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Velez, of Charlton, ran a stop sign before crashing into Penny Woodbury’s motorcycle in September 2015. The 50-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The judge has decided to continue Velez’s case until Jan. 24 while his lawyer and the prosecutor review the matter.

From Associated Press