OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGE – NOT GUILTY – WOBURN DISTRICT COURT

DT, a 68 year old woman from North Reading was charged in Woburn District Court by the North Reading Police with obstruction of justice. The case arose from the following facts. A man in his mid thirties was found in the parking lot of an apartment complex in North Reading obviously suffering from a drug overdose. He was foaming at the mouth and had to be rushed to a local hospital for treatment. The police discovered the man’s cell phone in the parking lot and seized it and took it to the station to search for clues as to what drugs he was on and where he had obtained the drugs. Within one hour DT, who lives in the same apartment complex with her son who is heroin dependent, called the police station saying that she had lost her phone in the parking lot and was wondering if anyone had turned in a cell phone. DT’s son was known to the police as a drug user and the police felt that DT’s mother was trying to get the phone the police had seized to prevent the police from finding evidence in the phone against her son. DT went to the police station and said she was there to pick up her phone. The police asked her whose phone she was looking for and she then said the phone belonged to her son but she had referred to it as her phone because she paid for it. The police asked her for the phone number and she gave it to the police. The police dialed the number and it went to DT’s son’s voice mail. The police accused her of lying and misleading them. The police charged her with Obstruction of Justice. DT hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin met with DT and her son and got a detailed timeline of exactly what happened.
In fact DT’s son had lost his phone the day before. DT’s call to the police (which was recorded) where she inquired about “her” phone being lost was a legitimate call. There was no evidence that she or her son knew anything about the man with the drug overdose in the parking lot. Working with DT and her son, Attorney Lewin interviewed an independent civilian witness who was prepared to testify that DT’s son had lost his phone the day before. The Government’s case was a terrible case and Attorney Lewin went to the DA and asked the DA to dismiss the case. The North Reading Police had it in for DT because her son was a drug addict. They refused to dismiss the case. The case was set down for trial. On April 14, 2015 DT, her son, the independent witness, and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court and answered ready for trial. The DA came to Attorney Lewin and offered “pre-trial probation”; Attorney Lewin refused and said to the DA the case for her innocence is overwhelming. The case proceeded to trial. Three police officers testified. Attorney Lewin’s cross examination of the police was sharp and went to the heart of the case – that DT had absolutely no intention of misleading the police. At the close of the Commonwealth’s case it was obvious that DT was innocent. Attorney Lewin rested without calling a witness. The Judge (this was a jury-waived trial) immediately found DT NOT guilty. DT had been terrified about going to trial; she did not want to go to trial and even considered pleading guilty just to avoid a trial. Attorney Lewin told her not to plead guilty to something she did not do. DT, her son, and Attorney Lewin left the court together; DT felt like she had been given her life back.