Marcus Pixley, a Suffolk County drug defendant whose bail was reduced because of suspected tampering with evidence by former state chemist Annie Dookhan, has missed a court date and is now a fugitive from justice, officials said today.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office last month had objected to a reduction in Pixley’s bail, arguing he was charged with selling cocaine to an undercover Boston police officer and was also being prosecuted as a career criminal.
However, at the request of Pixley’s defense attorney, who had drawn a link between Dookhan’s alleged mishandling of evidence in the state drug lab and Pixley’s case, Superior Court Judge Christine Roach reduced his bail to $1,000 cash from $5,000 cash.
Pixley was due in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday but failed to show up, according to Jake Wark, Conley’s spokesman.
When he did not appear, Superior Court Judge Carol Ball said from the bench that she would give Pixley until 10 a.m. today or an arrest warrant would be issued.
According to Conley’s office, Pixley did not make it to court today, either, and Ball has issued the warrant.
According to court records, Pixley was convicted of rape in 1978. His record also includes convictions on seven different drug distribution charges as well as assault and battery and larceny.
Pixley was among the first wave of defendants — some already serving prison sentences and some being held on bail — who have been released or given reduced bail amounts in drug prosecutions because Dookhan has admitted to manipulating evidence in drug samples sent to the Jamaica Plain lab where she worked.
Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and is free on $10,000 cash bail.
State Police have identified 60,000 drug samples, involving 34,000 criminal cases, which may have been tainted by Dookhan in the former Department of Public Health drug lab.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.