25 Investigates learned that critical evidence in the manslaughter case of a Somerville woman was lost in a boat fire at a Cohasset maintenance yard.
The boat was in dry dock, under lock and key, at a state owned storage lot when the fire broke out, destroying the vessel and the evidence it contained.
Our team learned the boat, named Make It Go Away, was the same one impounded by the Suffolk County’s District Attorney’s office following a July 2021 crash on the Boston Harbor that killed 27-year old Jeanica Julce.
The Suffolk DA’s office confirms it’s the same the boat that hit a day market buoy on July 17 in Boston Harbor. All eight people ended up in the water and Julce died.
Authorities charged the boat owner, 38-year old Ryan Denver of Boston, with involuntary manslaughter, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He is awaiting trial.
A spokesperson for the office says the boat was being shrink wrapped when it caught fire.
Doug Sheff, the lawyer for the Julce Family, told investigative reporter Ted Daniel, in a statement: “As a civil wrongful death attorney, I expect that the authorities involved in this matter will have preserved all critical evidence necessary for both the criminal and civil proceedings related to the tragic death of Jeanica Julce.”
Meanwhile, the attorney for the boat’s owner who is the defendant in the case, said the fire and loss of important evidence could be detrimental to his client’s case. In a statement, Michael J. Connolly, lawyer for Ryan Denver said: “This carelessness by the government is detrimental to the defense of Mr. Denver. While the government has had the opportunity to inspect the boat, Mr. Denver’s defense team has not. Therefore, exculpatory evidence that could have helped his defense has been lost, forcing his defense team to fight on an unlevel playing field. We will be asking the Court for appropriate relief to redress this harm to our client.”
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