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District Attorney: No Link to 'Rogue Chemist' in Acquittal of Former Murder Suspect

Shawn Drumgold, 47, who was falsely imprisoned for 14 years for the shocking murder of a preteen Boston girl, was found not guilty Friday on new drug charges.

A high-profile former murder suspect who argued that a "rogue chemist" tainted drug evidence against him has been found not guilty by a judge.

Shawn Drumgold, 47, of Abington, was found not guilty on new drug charges by Roxbury District Court Judge David Weingarten, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. Drumgold is a controversial figure in that he was convicted of the shocking 1988 murder of a 12-year-old girl on a Roxbury playground, then set free after witnesses changed their stories.

Prosecutors say that in the just-finished drug trial, the judge's "not guilty" ruling was not based on whether disgraced chemist Annie Dookhan handled samples in his case. Drumgold's attorney had argued that initials on lab records might have indicated she had tested the samples.

Dookhan is accused of tainting tens of thousands of drug samples at the now-shuttered Department of Public Health Drug Lab on South Street in JP.

However, in contradiction of the DA's office, Patch news partner WHDH speculates the possible link to Dookhan did indeed lead to the judge's "not guilty" verdict.

The charges go back to a January 2011 arrest in which Drumgold was found at a table full of drugs. His defense attorney argued prosecutors targeted Drumgold in retaliation for the $14 million settlement he won from the state over his imprisonment.

For all of Jamaica Plain Patch's coverage of the JP Drug Lab Scandal, please visit our topic page on the issue.

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