SJC overrules lower court decision to set him free
STOUGHTON -The state Supreme Judicial Court ordered former police Sgt. David M. Cohen to stay in prison while he appeals his witness intimidation convictions.
A single justice, in a one page order Wednesday, overruled an appeals court order issued Tuesday that would have allowed Cohen to be freed.
Cohen, 41, a 19-year police veteran and lawyer, was sentenced Monday to three years in the state correctional facility at Cedar Junction in Walpole, 150 hours of community service, and anger management for attempted extortion.
The conviction stems from allegations that Cohen misused his authority as a police officer and lawyer to collect a $10,000 debt for a friend April 30, 2002. Cohen was convicted last month and was fired as a police officer last week.
A jury on July 30 acquitted a co-defendant, Stoughton police officer Robert E. Letendre, of both making a false report prosecutors alleged was to protect Cohen and of being an accessory after the fact to a kidnapping.
Police Chief Manuel J. Cachopa, who is on paid administrative leave, is awaiting trial on two charges related to the April incident. He is accused of covering up the incident.
Maureen Boyle of The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) can be reached at email@example.com.