The Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports it's formally dropped the murder case against Shaun Jenkins for the death of his cousin Stephen in Dorchester in 2001.
The DA's office said it found "errors and misconduct" in the original case against him - which relied heavily on the work of then BPD Detective Daniel Keeler, whose career might now be characterized as checkered.
In a statement, the DA's office says its predecessors withheld information from Jenkins's attorneys that might have bolstered his case that he didn't kill his cousin:
Among the items that the Commonwealth knew and did not disclose to the defendant: the victim was in phone contact with his drug supplier, Mike White, several times throughout the afternoon and evening of his death; that the victim owed White a significant debt; and that White was the last person Stephen called approximately 20 minutes before his shooting death. White lived less than two blocks away from the murder location and had a violent history. All of this information together would have been helpful to the defendant for a Third-Party Culprit defense (as in, someone other than the defendant killed the victim) or something called a Bowden defense (an allegation that the police investigation was insufficient). These defenses are often proffered in tandem but are separate and distinct from each other.
Additionally, the Commonwealth never disclosed, until recently, that Detective Keeler had paid a key witness $100 to testify before the grand jury. This witness had been unwilling to testify prior to the payment. Despite a specific discovery request by the defendant for any promises, rewards, or inducements, this was never disclosed. The defendant was unable to cross-examine this key witness and question his credibility regarding an implied payment for his testimony.