Reporting Bill Hudson
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two months after dealing with Derek Boogaard’s overdose death, family grief took another turn in late July. Derek’s younger brother, and roommate, Aaron Boogaard was facing criminal charges in his brother’s death.
Hennepin County prosecutors alleged that Aaron Boogaard provided the painkiller, Oxycodone, to the former Wild hockey player. It’s believed that a combination of alcohol and the Oxycodone led to Boogaard’s overdose death on May 13.
But Aaron’s attorney, John Lundquist, argued his client merely provided safekeeping for the painkillers which had been purchased by Derek. Aaron kept custody of the drugs in the apartment the two brothers shared because the former Wild player was battling addiction.
Still, the younger Boogaard was faced with a second charge of interfering with a death scene. It’s believed that he flushed painkillers down the toilet to hide them from police. That resulted in the gross misdemeanor of interfering at a death scene.
On Aug. 17, Lundquist filed a motion at Boogaard’s omnibus hearing seeking to have the charges dropped.
On Thursday, Hennepin District Judge William Howard issued his order, saying that Derek Boogaard “acted alone in acquiring the drugs.” He wrote that defendant Aaron Boogaard “was not using the drugs himself, nor did he have any authority or intent to do anything with the pills, other than what (Derek Boogaard) asked of him.”
Judge Howard said it was clear that Aaron was not a link in the chain of distribution. Because of that, probable cause supporting charges of sale of a controlled substance could not be supported by the facts.
The judge concluded by saying “the facts do not show the offense of sale of a controlled substance crime was committed.”
Prosecutors were successful in asking for and getting a five-day stay of the order. The County Attorney’s spokesman, Chuck Laszewski said, “it allows us to thoroughly study Judge Howard’s order and help determine what course of action we want to pursue.”
While Aaron did not wish to respond to Thursday’s court development, the Minnesota Wild did.
Team spokesman Aaron Sickman released a statement saying, “We are happy for Aaron and his family that the most serious of the charges is now dismissed. We continue to support the Boogaard family as they move forward from the tragic event this past summer.”
Boogaard could be back in court next week for a hearing in which to finalize the five-day stay of execution.