Drug Suspect Will Be Released After State Lab Scandal

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – A local drug convict will now walk free, the first in a wave of thousands of cases called into question after an evidence tampering scandal.

David Danielli pleaded guilty to possessing 500 Oxycodone pills. His case was based on evidence tested by chemist Annie Dookhan at the now closed state drug lab. She’s accused of intentionally compromising evidence in more than 30,000 cases.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

Wednesday afternoon, a Suffolk Superior Court judge accepted a motion to vacate Danielli’s guilty plea, which means he’ll be free to walk out of jail Thursday.

His daughter was smiling as she left the courtroom. “I’m really happy,” she said.

His defense attorney, John Martin, says there will be many others. “Everyone who’s been convicted of a crime in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and possibly other counties in the last 5 to 6 years, is possibly the victim of a very substantial miscarriage of justice. On the other hand, a lot of very dangerous people might get out of jail.”

It happened on the same day the State’s Public Health Commissioner, John Auerbach, spoke for the first time since announcing his resignation in the wake of the scandal. “What this case has caused the D.A.s and the attorneys and the possibility that justice was not served, I’m furious at that.”

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