June 12, 2024


James and Leslie Coughlin pleaded responsible to supplying alcohol to minors on the 2021 commencement celebration the place Alonzo Polk drowned.

Retired state police detective, Capt. James Coughlin, and his spouse, Leslie, arrive for a clerk-magistrate’s listening to at Dedham District Court docket, July 21, 2021. Craig F. Walker/Boston Globe Workers, File

A retired Massachusetts State Police captain was attacked exterior a Dedham courthouse Monday after he and his spouse have been sentenced on costs stemming from a 2021 commencement celebration the place an adolescent drowned.

James and Leslie Coughlin have been every given a one-year suspended sentence and group service after pleading responsible to supplying alcohol to minors. The Dedham couple additionally admitted there have been ample information for them to be discovered responsible on a cost of reckless endangerment of a kid, although the choose continued that cost with out a discovering.

Monday’s sentencing resolved costs stemming from the loss of life of 17-year-old Alonzo Polk, who was pulled unresponsive from the Coughlins’ pool throughout a highschool commencement celebration. 

Brian Kelly, the couple’s lawyer, asserted in a courtroom submitting that toxicology checks confirmed Polk had no alcohol in his system on the evening of the celebration. Kelly has additionally asserted that Polk was pushed into the pool by a pal who was unaware the teenager couldn’t swim. 

Because the Coughlins’ case moved via the courtroom system, Polk’s household mounted requires justice within the teen’s loss of life, even holding a march from Polk’s house on Mount Vernon Road to the Coughlins’ Netta Street home. 

“I don’t care what I’ve to do, I need justice for my son. Everyone else’s children are right here, and my son is gone,” Debra Rowell — Polk’s mom — mentioned on the time, in response to Boston 25 Information. 

Earlier this yr, the Coughlins efficiently petitioned the courtroom to ban shows of help for Polk exterior the courthouse if the case proceeded to trial. They asserted that the household’s supporters had “harassed and intimidated a number of potential witnesses” within the case, with one witness allegedly punched within the face after refusing to vary his story. 

The couple additionally mentioned that they had confronted threats and intimidation themselves.

Alonzo Polk. Instagram

On Monday, Kelly instructed The Boston Globe that James Coughlin was “brutally attacked from behind” as he was leaving Dedham District Court docket. The alleged assailants had reportedly been contained in the courtroom through the listening to.

In response to the Globe, Kelly described the incident as a “wild melee,” throughout which a number of folks kicked and hit Coughlin and one other retired trooper who tried to intervene.

In a press release, the Dedham Police Division confirmed {that a} bodily altercation occurred on the street close to the courthouse at 10:38 a.m. Monday. 

“A number of officers already within the space together with Court docket Personnel and others intervened to cease the altercation and restore order,” Dedham police mentioned. 

Two folks have been evaluated for accidents on the scene however refused to be taken to a hospital for additional analysis, in response to police. The division didn’t point out whether or not anybody was arrested, however mentioned an investigation is underway. 

“It’s completely loopy that one thing like this might occur in the course of Dedham after a courtroom continuing,” Kelly instructed the Globe. “We hope the [district attorney]’s workplace will carry the suitable costs and never allow our prison justice system to get replaced by mob justice.”