Special prosecutor named to investigate 2009 death of patient at Bridgewater State

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BOSTON — Attorney General Martha Coakley has named a special prosecutor to conduct a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 2009 death of a patient at Bridgewater State Hospital.

The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/1ooMyi1 ) reports that Coakley on Tuesday asked Martin Murphy to conduct an independent investigation to resolve "lingering questions" about the events surrounding the death of Joshua Messier.

The 23-year-old Messier died while being restrained by guards who strapped his wrists and ankles to the corners of a small bed.

The state medical examiner ruled Messier's death a homicide, but Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime, even though it was video recorded.

Bridgewater State is actually a medium-security prison run by the state prisons department, and houses about 280 mental health patients.


Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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