The Suffolk County District Attorney's office has asked a Supreme Judicial court judge to return William Utley to jail while he awaits trial - originally set to begin yesterday - on charges he stabbed Andew Young to death during an argument outside a Grove Hall bar in 2018.
WBUR reports that Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine Roach released Utley to home confinement and GPS monitoring after his lawyers argued that his current treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia made him particularly vulnerable to complications should he be infected with coronavirus.
The Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest, ruled last week that judges should take Covid-19 risks into account when deciding whether to release people awaiting trial on personal recognizance, but appended a list of crimes for which exceptions should not be allowed, including murder.
The Suffolk County DA's office says Utley, even with is medical condition, is a unique threat to the public: When he allegedly fatally stabbed Young, he was out on bail awaiting trial on charges he fired a gun in 2016 - and threatened the cop who found him, And before he was arrested for Young's murder, he was arrested at Hyde Park Avenue and American Legion Highway in Hyde Park on his fifth OUI charge, after police found him passed out behind the wheel of his car, " with a half-consumed bottle of Remy Martin cognac on his person and several bottles of Ciroc in his vehicle, the DA's office alleges.
At the time of his 2016 arrest, meanwhile, he was officially categorized as an armed career criminal.
In a statement, DA Rachael Rollins noted that even at his bail hearing last week, Utley's attorneys asked for bail of $11,000.
I fully understand the risk that COVID-19 poses to everyone, including people who are incarcerated, Mr. Utley, however, is accused of murdering someone while he was on pre-trial release for firearm charges and while on GPS monitoring. In addition to committing murder, in a separately charged incident he was also arrested for his 5th OUI, again, all while on pre-trial release with a GPS monitor for the aforementioned firearm charges. The significant danger this defendant poses to the people of Suffolk County far outweighs any claims he is making of a personal health risk. Mr. Utley absolutely deserves appropriate medical care for his underlying health condition. But, that care must be provided within a correctional facility as he has proven that he is incapable of complying with conditions set to keep our community safe.