State & Region Briefs

Thursday, July 12, 2018
House approves opioid bill, rejects involuntary treatment

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has approved new steps to deal with opioid addiction, but without an involuntary treatment provision.

The bill passed by the House Wednesday night would instead create a special commission to study Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan for allowing medical professionals to hold patients for up to 72 hours for substance abuse treatment.

The commission would have one year to report its findings.

Republican lawmakers who tried unsuccessfully to restore the involuntary hold said the proposal has already been studied enough and should be implemented without further delay.

The House bill would expand access to medication-assisted treatment for drug users in hospital settings.

It also calls for training and credentialing of “recovery coaches” who work with patients to overcome addiction.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

Delaware men charged in 2017 shooting of teen

HAVERHILL — Prosecutors say three Delaware men have been arrested in connection with the death of a teen shot while answering the front door of his home last year.

Haverhill police say 20-year-old Nicholas Mandato, of Dagsboro; 21-year-old Thomas Warner, of Selbyville; and 18-year-old Kenneth Pitts, of Frankford, are charged in the June 2017 shooting death of Bryce Finn.

Mandato waived rendition and was transported to Massachusetts where he faces arraignment Thursday.

Warner and Pitts remain in custody in Delaware. It could not be determined if they have lawyers.

Prosecutors say the 18-year-old Finn was shot in the chest when he answered the door just days after his high school graduation.

Investigators said they do not think the shooting was random but have not disclosed a motive.

2 charged in assault on Boston College hockey player

BOSTON — A New Jersey police officer and another man have been charged in connection with an altercation at a Boston pizza shop that landed a Boston College hockey player in the hospital with a serious jaw injury.

Massachusetts prosecutors say 27-year-old Daniel Hunt, of Barrington, N.J., and 29-year-old Ian Salerno, of Philadelphia, face assault and battery charges.

The confrontation occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 19.

Prosecutors say the player, identified by the school as Kevin Lohan, needed his jaw wired shut for three weeks.

Hunt, an officer in Haddon Heights, N.J., was off duty.

Both suspects face arraignment Aug. 1. Home numbers could not be located and prosecutors did not know if they had lawyers.

Lohan, of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., is the cousin of actor Lindsay Lohan.

Prison guard pleads guilty in drug smuggling scheme

BOSTON — A prison guard has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to smuggle drugs into the facility for an inmate.

Federal prosecutors say 51-year-old William Holts, of Pawtucket, R.I., pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.

Authorities say Holts had been smuggling other contraband into MCI-Norfolk for six months when he told an inmate he was willing to smuggle drugs into the prison for cash.

In a series of recorded calls, Holts arranged to meet a source outside to get the cash and obtain drugs. Holts agreed to bring in more than 100 Suboxone strips in exchange for $2,000.

Suboxone is intended to treat heroin addiction, but some abuse the drug to get high.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 17.

2 suspects in fatal Springfield shooting held

SPRINGFIELD — Two suspects in a fatal shooting in Springfield last week have been held without bail.

Aaron Kelly-Griffin and Donte King both pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and other charges in the slaying last Friday of 34-year-old Corey Drummer.

Drummer was shot in broad daylight as he and his cousin sat in a car. He was taken to the hospital and police say before he died, Drummer identified King as one of his assailants.

His death was the city’s seventh homicide of the year.

Lawyers for the suspects questioned witness identification of their clients.

Both men are due back in court Aug. 27.

From Associated Press