Judge Dismisses Charges Against Gonzalez
A Superior Court judge today dismissed charges filed against a 41-year old Lynn man in connection with the 2008 disappearance of his son, based on his mental incompetency.
Superior Court Judge John Lu dismissed the parental kidnapping and willfully misleading a grand jury charges against Ernesto Gonzalez in Salem Superior Court following a motion to dismiss hearing because Mr. Gonzalez has been found incompetent to stand trial. Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 123, section 16f, if a defendant has been found incompetent to stand trial, the court shall dismiss the charges after the defendant has served one-half of the maximum potential sentence of the most serious crime with which he was charged. (The maximum penalty for misleading a grand jury is 10 years and Gonzalez has been confined since August 17, 2008.)
Gonzalez remains held without bail at Bridgewater State Hospital on an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury charge in connection with an alleged attack on a fellow inmate at the Middleton jail. He was arraigned on that charge on November 7, 2011. The maximum sentence on that charge is 15 years.
“While the charges related to Giovanni’s disappearance have been dismissed, our efforts to locate him will continue,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “We have and will follow up on any and all leads presented to us.”
Calling the dismissal “premature”, Essex Assistant District Attorney Jean Curran opposed the motion to dismiss stating that, “unless or until a determination is made that the defendant’s competency cannot be restored, the charges should not be dismissed.”
A mental health status hearing on the assault & battery charge is scheduled for April 16, 2014.