LAW

Kevin Burnham in Hampden Superior Court in December 2016, as his case was continued.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The death of Kevin Burnham, a retired Springfield police officer accused of stealing money from evidence, could impact the pension he leaves behind.

Burnham was supposed to appear in court Monday to plead guilty to stealing almost $400,000 from the narcotics evidence room. But he didn't show up.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was found at home, dead of an apparent suicide.

The renovated Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield.
Karen Brown / NEPR

A small group of residents in Franklin County -- and a top Massachusetts lawmaker -- are urging court officials to stop destroying legal books and documents.

Jesse Carrillo, left, talks to his lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr. of Boston, after the guilty verdicts were announced on May 30, 2017.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A former UMass graduate student will be sentenced Wednesday in the heroin overdose death of another student.

Jesse Carrillo was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and distribution after Eric Sinacori died from heroin supplied by Carrillo.

In May of 2015, about 5,500 students graduated from UMass Amherst during ceremonies at McGuirk Stadium on campus. This is Elizabeth Thomas of Medfield, Mass.
Don Treeger / The Republican

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

Mass. AG Investigates Incidents At Easthampton High

May 25, 2017
A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

The school superintendent in Easthampton said disciplinary action has been taken against a student who allegedly bullied others through social media.

This comes as Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey investigates incidents at Easthampton High School.

Earlier this month, the School Committee voted to ban students from wearing the Confederate flag.

Later, a student posted on Instagram the words "Make Easthampton Great Again" with photo-shopped images of students and the principal holding guns in front of a Confederate flag.

William Ryder, former owner and director of the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley, right, is handcuffed and led out of a courtroom at Hampshire Superior Court Nov. 18, 2017, after pleading guilty.
File Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A Massachusetts court has accepted a nearly half-million dollar judgment against a former funeral home director in South Hadley.

William Ryder and the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home have agreed to pay $471,446 in restitution.

State Attorney General Maura Healey's office will manage that money, to compensate people who claim Ryder "misappropriated" money they prepaid for funeral arrangements.

It was nearly three years ago that a state inspector visited Ryder Funeral Home and found improperly stored bodies in various stages of decay.

In the trial of pharmacist Barry Cadden, federal jurors were instructed that all 12 of them had to agree — guilty or not guilty — before reaching a verdict.

Cadden was at the center of a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections prepared by his company, the New England Compounding Center. At least 60 people died.

Pipeline protesters and their supporters outside of Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington, Mass. after a hearing on May 11, 2017.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Seventeen protesters arrested at the construction site of a natural gas pipeline in southern Berkshire county appeared in court Thursday in Great Barrington. And prosecutors tossed them a curveball.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

Aaron Hernandez was acquitted Friday on charges that he murdered two men in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. The jury found the former New England Patriots tight end not guilty on most of the eight counts he faced, including murder and armed assault.

The jury did find him guilty of illegal possession of a firearm, for which he was sentenced to serve four to five years in prison.

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