Aaron Boogaard's felony drug charge dismissed

Categories: Crime, Drugs
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Aaron Boogaard still faces one misdemeanor charge in the case surrounding his brother's death.
This morning, a judge ruled that when Aaron Boogaard, the brother of Derek Boogaard, handed his brother the pills that ultimately contributed to the hockey star's death, he was not committing a felony.

"The victim . . . acted alone in acquiring the drugs: he purchased them, from an unknown third party, with his own money, and transported them himself to Minnesota," the judge's order reads. "Defendant only held the drugs for the victim."

Since Derek Boogaard's unexpected death in May, the Boogaard family has publicly acknowledged that the former Minnesota Wild enforcer suffered from a painkiller addiction and had been to rehab. Aaron and Derek were roommates, and according to the order, Derek often asked Aaron to hide his stash of pills from him "because he could not be trusted with them."

On May 12, Derek wanted to celebrate his return from a treatment program by going on a "binger" and asked Aaron to give him some of his pills, according to the original criminal complaint. Aaron retrieved the pills -- either an Oxicodone or a Percocet -- from his hiding place in his room, and gave them to Derek.

The order says that Aaron and Derek went out partying together, and that Derek was "very intoxicated." The brothers returned home together, though Aaron left again at 4 a.m.

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Derek Boogaard, during his glory days with the Minnesota Wild.
When he returned that evening, he found Derek dead in his room. While police were on their way, the complaint says Aaron flushed the remainder of Derek's stash down the toilet. The death was ruled an accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers.

Aaron Boogaard was charged with felony third-degree sale of a controlled substance for giving Derek the pills, and misdemeanor interference with the scene of a death.

This morning, however, a judge ruled that the pills had never been Aaron's -- Derek bought them himself and therefore Aaron was merely returning his brother's property.

"Because D.L.B. acted alone in acquiring the drugs, the Defendant did not act as a link in the chain of distribution," the order reads.

The felony charge, the judge ruled, should be tossed.

Immediately after receiving the dismissal, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office requested a five-day stay of the order. It is unclear whether they will appeal or what will become of the final misdemeanor charge.

"Even under the state's version of the facts, there was no probable cause to believe Aaron had distributed drugs," says John Lundquist, the Boogaards's attorney. "The family and myself are all very pleased with the court's order."

The county attorney has until next Thursday to decide how to proceed.

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1 comments
Inpatient Drug Rehab
Inpatient Drug Rehab

I'm certainly glad that a nonviolent offender got off without felony charges - but what about people who aren't lucky enough to be rich and famous?  I'm willing to be that even this guy's marginal fame and wealth played a role in his lenient sentencing.  If we're ever going to really solve the addiction epidemic and reduce drug crime, we're going to have to push for leniency towards all addicts.  Drug abuse needs to be treated as a sickness - not a punishable offense.

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