Massachusetts

Trial of 3 Guards to Begin in Connection to Patient Death at Bridgewater State Hospital

Three former guards at a Massachusetts facility that treats the mentally ill in the state criminal justice system face trial this week in the 2009 death of an inmate with schizophrenia.

The Boston Globe reports that the trial of the former Bridgewater State Hospital guards on involuntary manslaughter charges is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Inmate Joshua Messier suffered heart failure when the guards forcefully strapped him to a bed.

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In 2010, prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges, and none of the guards was even disciplined.

But in 2014, Attorney General Martha Coakley appointed a special prosecutor who determined there were grounds for charges.

An attorney for one of the guards says the appointment of the special prosecutor was politically motivated and the guards maintain their innocence.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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