On November 7, 2019 KM, an 18 year old female from Andover, was released rom a Mental Hospital after being treated as an in-patient for schizophrenia. On the next day, KM drove to Tewksbury picked up her 13 year old female cousin, telling the cousin that the cousin’s Mother had asked KM to pick her up from the school bus. KM brought the cousin to KM’s parents’ apartment in Andover. KM’s parents were out of the country. KM suffers from mental illness and refused to bring her cousin back home to Tewksbury. KM locked herself and the cousin in KM’s bedroom and took KM’s phone away. KM texted to her cousin’s mother that KM was going to have the cousin sleep over. The Mother texted KM back that the cousin was not to sleep over. The mother attempted to text and call her daughter, but KM had taken her cousin’s phone away.
The cousin’s mother left work and headed to KM’s parents’ apartment in Andover. KM also called the police. The mother and the police met at the apartment at about the same time. They banged on the door but there was no response. The Mother was frantic and explained to the police the KM’s schizophrenia caused KM to be delusional and she feared that KM had harmed her daughter. The police banged and pushed on the door of the apartment but it was locked with the deadbolt. The police then called for “breaching tools”. Just before breaking the door down the police heard screaming and screeching from within the apartment. They heard the cousin yelling “Let me go, Let me go, I want to get out, help me.” The police then broke the door down. The cousin came running out of the apartment in tears. The police entered the apartment. KM was sitting on a couch as if nothing had happened. The police cuffed KM. The police took a detailed statement from the cousin who told them how KM had taken her phone and refused to let her call her parents and refused to take her home. The cousin told the police that KM was convulsing and talking nonsense. The police brought KM to the hospital where she was involuntarily committed as a mentally ill person who was dangerous. The police filed criminal charges against KM of Kidnapping (a felony) and witness intimidation (a felony).
KM’s parents sought out a lawyer and met with Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. KM’s parents retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately got KM into treatment with a psychiatrist and a mental health counselor. Attorney Lewin recognized the need to ultimately convince a Judge that KM was not dangerous and did not need to be locked up. Attorney Lewin also recognized that some time was needed to let everyone’s emotions calm down (especially the cousin and her mother).
By July of 2020 KM had been in treatment and counseling and had been medication compliant for over six months. Her cousin and the cousin’s mother had “cooled down”. KM had no criminal record and Attorney Lewin felt it was extremely important to keep KM from having a conviction on her record.
“Pre-Trial Probation” is a disposition that can be used to avoid having a conviction. With pre-trial probation there is no admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It is NOT a plea bargain. The criminal charges are simply left open for a period of time, certain probationary conditions are put in place, and as long as the person complies with the conditions and stays out of trouble, the charges get dismissed. Attorney Lewin began to pitch pre-trial probation to the District Attorney’s Office early on.
On July 29, 2020 KM and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court. The District Attorney’s Office had agreed to pre-trial probation with conditions that KM remain in mental health treatment and remain compliant with her medications. The cousin and her Mother agreed to that disposition of the case. The Judge accepted Attorney Lewin’s proposal and ordered the case continued for one year to July 29, 2021 under the conditions that KM stay in treatment, take her medications as directed, and stay out of trouble. If she complies with all the conditions then on July 29, 2021 the two felony charges against her will be dismissed.