CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A convicted sex offender who offered to be castrated in exchange for a lighter sentence was taken to the hospital from jail Friday morning after attempting suicide in his cell, his attorney said. He was pronounced dead Friday evening at Mass General Hospital.

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office said a guard at the Middlesex Jail in Cambridge saw that John Burbine was “in need of emergency medical attention” about 8 a.m. and he was taken to an area hospital.

Burbine, 49, was arrested in September 2012 and charged with sexually abusing several young children at his wife’s unlicensed day care in Wakefield.

His attorney, William Barabino, told WBZ-TV that Burbine, who was under very close observation, tried to hang himself.

Barabino told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 authorities arranged to have Burbine’s wife Marian brought to Massachusetts General Hospital. She is currently under house arrest in Wakefield.

Prior to being charged in the day care abuse case, Burbine had been registered as a Level 1 sex offender, a classification given those least likely to re-offend.

In November, Barabino asked prosecutors and the judge in the case to cap his sentence at the legal minimum of 15 years in prison if he agreed to voluntarily undergo a castration.

Prosecutors wanted to send him to prison for up to 100 years and they say castration wouldn’t change their sentencing recommendation.

The request was denied during a November hearing but discussion of castration after Burbine’s trial was left open.

The case was set to go to trial May 1.



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