Officials release former state Sen. Brian Joyce’s cause of death

Former Massachusetts state Sen. Brian Joyce, Dec. 7, 2017.

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts chief medical examiner’s office says former state Sen. Brian Joyce died from an overdose of a medication commonly used to treat insomnia.

The medical examiner’s office said Tuesday the 56-year-old died of acute pentobarbital intoxication, but they were unable to determine the manner of death. Pentobarbital is a sedative.

Joyce was found dead by his wife at his Westport home in September. The Bristol District Attorney’s office said at the time no foul play was suspected.

Joyce had pleaded not guilty last year to federal corruption charges. Prosecutors said he accepted up to $1 million in bribes and kickbacks and laundered the money through his law office.

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Court records show U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling dismissed charges against Joyce in October, citing his death.

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