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A WBUR SPECIAL REPORT

BadChemistry

Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

Chemist Wants More Obstruction Charges Thrown Out

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A former state chemist who authorities say tampered with criminal evidence is challenging charges connected to claims she made in court that she had a master’s degree.

Last year’s 27-count indictment against Annie Dookhan included allegations that she faked drug test results and tampered with evidence at a lab authorities later shut down. The 35-year-old Franklin woman has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities have said Dookhan tested more than 60,000 drug samples involving 34,000 defendants during her nine years of working at Hinton state lab in Boston. Dozens of drug defendants whose cases Dookhan handled have been freed pending new trials.

She left Suffolk Superior Court on Friday without commenting after a judge set her next hearing for June 27.

A judge previously ruled against dismissing two obstruction of justice charges relating to Dookhan’s academic credential claims while testifying as an expert witness in two drug cases.

The ruling said grand jurors saw Dookhan’s college transcript and could “reasonably infer” she misled people by making a false claim about having a master’s degree in chemistry.

Lawyers for both sides have agreed to consolidate proceedings about dismissal motions related to 11 similar charges. But paperwork hadn’t arrived in Boston from five other counties by Friday.

Dookhan’s attorney Nicolas Gordon said Friday he doesn’t expect a favorable ruling on the new dismissal motion effort, but wants to preserve his client’s appellate rights.

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