A Former Massachusetts state senator who was awaiting trial for federal corruption charges was found dead in his home on Thursday.
Brian A. Joyce’s body was found by his wife, Boston 25 News reported. He was only 56.
Joyce, a Democrat who served as senator for almost two decades, was arrested in December 2017 on multiple corruption charges that included taking $1 million in bribes and kickbacks.
After a two-year investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s indictment alleged that Joyce “used his Senate office as a criminal enterprise,” Boston 25 News reported.
Joyce pleaded not guilty in federal court to all charges and was awaiting a trial.
The 113-count indictment against Joyce alleged racketeering, extortion, wire fraud and money laundering.
“During this difficult time, our thoughts are with Senator Joyce’s family and friends,” read a statement from the Massachusetts Democratic Party following the news of Joyce’s death.
U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling also released a statement: “We extend our condolences to Mr. Joyce’s family and friends as they grieve his passing; we will not have any further comment during this difficult time.”
Joyce’s attorney Howard M. Cooper said he had “no comment,” but said, “the family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”
At the time of Joyce’s arrest, Republican Governor Charlie Baker called the charges made against Joyce disturbing, according to Fox News.
‘‘People in public life need to respect the offices they hold and that means not using them for personal gain, and if the feds believe there’s enough there to justify an indictment then the investigation needs to be thorough and move forward accordingly,’’ he said.
Joyce was free on a bond of $250,000 and was waiting to be given a court date.
Joyce was involved in a single-car accident in Westport, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, but it’s unclear whether the crash was involved in his death in some way.
The District Attorney’s office, however, has confirmed that they will include the crash in their investigation.
“Officials say they do not suspect foul play and added the investigation is active and ongoing. An autopsy will be conducted by the state Medical Examiner,” Boston 25 reported.
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