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Crime Lab Scandal Results in Drug Defendant Being Set Free

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A drug defendant serving time in jail has been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and will be released while awaiting trial, in the first of what could be many cases jeopardized by a scandal at a Massachusetts drug-testing lab. David Danielli pleaded guilty to possession of 500 oxycodone pills and was sentenced to serve a year in jail. His lawyer filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea after state officials shut down the testing lab last month amid a widening investigation into the actions of chemist Annie Dookhan, who is accused of deliberately mishandling drug samples.

On Wednesday, a judge granted Danielli’s motion to withdraw his plea. A spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Danielli will be released on personal recognizance. His case will go back on a list of cases awaiting trial.

[Via Associated Press]

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