Woburn Man Jailed on Charges of Killing Infant Son Could be Released
The Boston Globe reported Saturday that Jay Procopio's guilty plea on the 1992 death of his infant son should not have been accepted by the judge.
A former Woburn man who was sentenced to life behind bars won a legal victory last Friday that could set him free after 20 years in prison, The Boston Globe reported on Saturday.
According to the Globe in 1993 Jay Procopio, of Woburn, was sentenced to life in prison on a second-degree murder charge on an allegation he murdered his infant son after Superior Court Judge Katherine Liacos Izzo took his testimony as a guilty plea.
The Globe reported that last Friday the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that Procopio should not have been allowed to plead guilty to the charges. According to the Appeals Court, Procopio insisted his 5-month-old's son death was accidental. That made his guilty plea constitutionally flawed.
According to the story, during the time of the trial Procopio continually said he accidentally dropped his son, leading to the infant's death. According to the Appeals Court ruling last week that meant the defendant's plea was one of accident and that the judge should have rejected the plea and
let the indictment stand for trial.
Procopio is currently in the MCI-Norfolk medium-security prison and is in his 50s. His attorney Sandra Bloomenthal said on Friday she hopes that he will soon be released from prison, the Globe reported. She also said Procopio is mentally challenged and that he was telling the truth in court back in the 90s.
According to the Globe a spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said they are studying the Appeals Court ruling and will decide what to do next. That could include asking other judges to review the decision.
The decision by the Appeals Court did say in the ruling the prosecutors did have sufficent evidence to support a second-degree murder plea, including that Procopio allegedly told police he threw the child to the ground to get him to stop crying, but the guilty plea must be overturned because his later claims of innocence means he did not make a legal "intelligent waiver of his rights to a trial."