Armed Robbery Suspect Kessel Free After Evidence Confusion

Armed Robbery Suspect Kessel Free After Evidence Confusion

Ian J. Kessel. (Lee County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office booking photograph.)

Ian J. Kessel, the former Haverhill High running back charged with armed robbery last year, is free after an apparent evidence mix-up, officials said.

Jury selection was to begin today in Salem Superior Court, but the trial is on hold after Kessel’s lawyer successfully argued evidence was improperly listed.

“The trial was continued because the Commonwealth has to re-indict the case because the property that was stolen is different than was previously alleged,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokesperson for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

Twenty-year-old Kessel and Dalvin F. Andino, then 19, were indicted by an Essex County grand jury during March of last year on charges stemming from an arrest in January 2016 at Forest Acres apartments in Bradford. Wednesday’s ruling means the grand jury must convene again and decide whether to indict the men.

As WHAV reported earlier, both suspects and an unidentified 17-year-old juvenile were charged with armed robbery during, what Haverhill Police said, was a “drug deal gone bad.”

At the time, Haverhill Police Lt. Robert P. Pistone said, “The victim in this case made an arrangement to buy marijuana and was told to meet at Forest Acres Drive…When he went there, he was directed to get into a motor vehicle where a gun was put to his head. He was robbed of a good sum of money,” he added.

Kessel was ordered held without bail last month by Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley because of Kessel’s late June arrest in Florida for alleged marijuana possession and resisting an officer. He was represented by Boston attorney Hank Brennan, a member of mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense team in 2013.

“Mr. Kessel, like any other citizen, is presumed innocent,” Brennan told WHAV. “He has an entitlement like any other similarly situated citizen deserves. He intends to go to court before a jury of his peers,” he added.

After 10:00pm on Wednesday September 20th, 2017 this article available to WHAV members only.

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Published at Thu, 14 Sep 2017 04:04:44 +0000