Mass. session for drug cases marred by confusion

LINDSEY ANDERSON Associated Press Published:

BOSTON (AP) -- Confusion has marred the first special court session to handle criminal cases being challenged because of the alleged mishandling of drug samples by a Massachusetts chemist.

The Friday session in Boston Municipal Court was set up to hear cases in which Annie Dookhan tested drug samples. Dookhan has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly skirting protocols and faking test results at a now-closed state drug lab.

Of the 18 cases heard Friday, only five involved samples tested or notarized by Dookhan. Two of those defendants were released, one on $500 bail and one without bail.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley says the list of defendants brought in for hearings was put together "hastily" by court officials and without input from prosecutors.