Upon hearing news that Aaron Boogaard was arrested on prescription fraud and drug possession charges on Wednesday, his family implied that those charges weren’t related to the May 13 death of his brother, former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard. It was hard to believe that Aaron’s charges weren’t in some way related to Derek’s death (which resulted from a toxic mixture of oxycodone and alcohol) and an updated report from the Minnesota Star-Tribune clarifies that there might have been a connection.
Paul Walsh reports that Aaron received two charges. The first is that he was in control of the painkillers that ultimately lead to his brother’s death. The other is for allegedly flushing the remaining pills down the toilet between the time he called about Derek’s death and the time authorities arrived. Here is a more literal explanation of the two charges filed today.
1. “Third degree sale of a controlled substance” – if convicted, it would be a felony.
2. “Interference with a death” – which would be a gross misdemeanor if convicted.
Here’s a bit more from Walsh’s report.
Aaron routinely supplied his brother with drugs, and “it is our understanding that Aaron kept his brother’s non-prescribed, illegal drugs and attempted to parcel them out on some kind of limited basis,” said County Attorney Mike Freeman.
“It’s a tragic situation,” Freeman added. “The family has already suffered significant loss. That doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s wrong — and in this case it was tragic — for him to give him that drug.”
A toxicologist found traces of Percocet, OxyContin and oxycodone along with alcohol in Derek Boogaard’s body, making it difficult to say which substance killed him. That’s the only reason, Freeman said, that Aaron Boogaard wasn’t charged with murder or manslaughter.
Derek died at the age of 28 and now Aaron – a 24-year old sixth round pick (175th overall) by the Minnesota Wild in 2004 – might not just see the potential conclusion of his hockey career, but also the possibility of serious legal ramifications for his role in this unfortunate incident. The saddest part might be that the incident reportedly happened the day after Derek left treatment for the very substance abuse problems that ended his life. One can only imagine how the Boogaard family must be going through right now.
Here is a statement from Boogaard’s attorneys, via Michael Russo.
“We are pleased that Aaron Boogaard is with his family, having been released from custody by both Hennepin County and U.S. immigration authorities. We will address the allegations in court rather than in the media, but note that Aaron was and remains devastated by his brother’s death. The entire Boogaard family has suffered tremendous loss and we ask that you respect their privacy as they continue to mourn the death of Derek.”
Meanwhile, the top prosecutor on the case said that Aaron Boogaard “should have known better” than to give his brother narcotics the day after he finished a rehab session.
Walsh reports that Aaron posted bail on Friday afternoon and will reportedly appear in district court on Monday. We’ll let you know what happens in this very sad situation.