March 17, 2017
SPRINGFIELD -- Monday is the trial date for retired Springfield Detective Kevin Burnham, accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the Police Department's evidence room over four and a half years.
Burnham's trial date previously has been moved several times.
If Burnham were to opt to go to trial it would not start Monday but would be assigned to a judge's session for scheduling by that judge. If Burnham decides to plead guilty, the plea could be taken Monday.ADVERTISING
The 43-year veteran of the police force pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of larceny at his arraignment in January 2016. Charges were brought by the state attorney general's office after a lengthy investigation of the retired officer, who was 66 at the time.
The discovery of missing money prompted widespread reforms of accounting for cash seized during drug investigations within the Police Department.
Burnham was released on his own recognizance with conditions that he surrender his passport, not leave the state without permission from the Probation Department, turn his firearms over to defense lawyer Charles Dolan and turn his firearms license and FID card over to Police Commissioner John Barbieri.
The case is being prosecuted by the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Burnham is charged with six counts of larceny over $250 and one count of larceny under $250.
The case alleges Burnham stole the cash from envelopes stored in the evidence room. The money had been seized in the course of investigations involving 162 defendants, according to a spreadsheet released by the attorney general's office in connection with the case. The alleged thefts, beginning Dec. 4, 2009, ranged from as little as $11 to tens of thousands of dollars. Burnham retired in the summer of 2014.
According to Healey's office, in some instances, Burnham allegedly "shorted" the cash count by taking money when he recounted it. Burnham also allegedly replaced money he stole from various evidence envelopes with previously seized counterfeit money or with newer money that was put into circulation after the original seizure date.