DA Rachael Rollins outraged over release of accused murderer due to COVID-19 concerns

The Suffolk County District Attorney says she's outraged over the release of an accused murderer due to fears he could contract COVID-19.

BOSTON — The Suffolk County District Attorney says she’s outraged over the release of an accused murderer due to fears he could contract COVID-19.

William Utley, 40, is facing murder charges in the death of his friend Anthony Young. According to prosecutors, Utley killed Young after an argument, stabbing the 33-year-old to death.

The alleged murder happened on Cushing Avenue in Dorchester in March 2018.

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Utley was being held without bail pending his trial, which was supposed to start on Monday - but now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been released. Utley, who claims to have leukemia, is at a high risk for contracting the virus.

A judge released Utley this week, ordering him to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet.

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins says Utley is a threat to the community and should not have been released.

“We filed an emergency petition up to the judicial supreme court saying this was an abuse of the judge’s discretion,” said Rollins. “We argued that the judge only considered his underlying health condition, [saying] that made him more likely to contract COVID-19.”

Rollins pointed to the fact that Utley was already out on a GPS monitoring device while awaiting trial on a gun charge when the alleged murder happened. Back in November, 25 Investigates brought this story to light, showing how criminals were charged with a prior crime, let out and then accused of committing new crimes.

“This is absolutely not the type of individual we are talking about when we are balancing the concerns for public health as well as public safety,” said Rollins. “I believe the facts here are egregious and that the judge abused her discretion so we had to file an appeal.”

While Rollins says Utley is a danger to the community and needs to be placed back in jail, Utley’s defense attorney Michael Tuposky reiterates his client is in a high-risk group.

“Mr. Utley is in the highest risk group to contract the coronavirus because his immune system is so compromised,” said Tuposky.

Tuposky says Utley will be staying in a one-bedroom apartment for the time being, with his mother watching over him.

Utley’s attorneys say the suspect will be out in the public once he has to go for his chemo treatment. Rollins says the Supreme Judicial Court has until Wednesday to answer to this.