Weymouth, MA – The man who murdered Weymouth Police Officer Michael Chesna on July 15 should not have been out of jail.
The Boston Herald reported that 20-year-old Emanuel Lopes was free on bail after he was charged with drug dealing despite the fact that he was caught violating his probation.
Lopes’ most recent arrest occurred in the early morning after he crashed his vehicle after driving erratically in the area of South Shore Hospital, WPRI reported.
He fled the scene of the crash, and officers began searching for him.
Officer Chesna, 42, spotted Lopes “actively vandalizing a home” in Burton Terrace, Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor said during a press conference.
Officer Chesna got out of his patrol vehicle with his duty weapon drawn and ordered Lopes to stop, Connor explained.
The officer chased the suspect on foot, but then Lopes hit Officer Chesna over the head with a large rock, knocking him to the ground, WCVB reported.
At that point, Lopes stole the officer’s duty weapon and shot him 10 times in the head and chest, NECN reported.
Officer Chesna was rushed to South Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was killed just one day shy of his sixth anniversary with the department, Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes said during the press conference.
NECN reported that as the manhunt was in progress and being reported on local news, a woman who said she was Lopes’ girlfriend contacted authorities and said the wrecked white BMW seen on television belonged to her father, and had been taken by her boyfriend.
Just three minutes before Lopes murdered Officer Chesna, the dispatcher advised officers that the girlfriend said Lopes was bipolar and had manic episodes, according to a recording of the radio transmissions during the incident.
More officers chased Lopes after he killed Officer Chesna, and as he ran, he fired off three more rounds from the stolen weapon, fatally striking 77-year-old Vera Adams who was inside her home at the time.
Lopes was struck in the leg by gunfire during his shootout with police, and once he was apprehended, he was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
He was arraigned on Tuesday and ordered held without bail; however, if the judge and the district attorney had enforced the terms of Lopes’ probation in April, Officer Chesna would still be alive, the Boston Herald reported.
Lopes was out on probation when he failed the drug test on April 25, and court documents showed the conditions of release included abstention from drug and alcohol use, “including medical marijuana,” the Boston Herald reported.
So when Lopes appeared in Quincy District Court before District Court Judge Jeanmarie Carroll on April 25, he was facing revocation of the $500 cash bail she had set on Nov. 1, 2017, after he was arrested and charged with selling cocaine to minors and resisting arrest, according to NECN.
In the interim, Lopes had failed to show up for a mandated pre-trial drug test on Feb. 7.
When he appeared before Carroll in April, Lopes agreed to be tested for drugs on the spot, and failed. But he told his probation officer that he was approved for medical marijuana, and the probation officer acted as his advocate with the judge.
“I tested Mr. Lopes. He was positive for marijuana. He reports to me that he has a THC card,” probation officer Michael Walsh told the court, NECN reported.
Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Arthur Czugh told Carroll he wouldn’t ask her to revoke Lopes’ bail.
That was good enough for Carroll, and the case was continued and Lopes was released, the Boston Herald reported.
Court documents showed Lopes’ conditions of release also required that he “make no false statements” to probation officers, the Boston Herald reported.
A spokeswoman for the state’s probation office declined to comment on whether Lopes actually had a medical marijuana card. The state’s registry is not public.
Coria Holland also said she didn’t know why the medical marijuana prohibition wasn’t flagged as a probation violation, the Boston Herald reported.
When Lopes appeared for his arraignment, his public defender asked for his client to be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental health evaluation.
However, Quincy District Court Judge Mark Coven denied the request and ordered Lopes held in jail, the Boston Herald reported.