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Dead inmate's family files $150M suit
By Boston Herald
Published: 09/20/2004

While the Mass. governor calls for a Department of Correction watchdog panel, the anguished parents of a man murdered behind bars in Bridgewater State Hospital plan to slam the state with a $150 million lawsuit.
"Our son Billy was a normal young man with a potentially bright and productive future. Our son Billy received a death sentence,'' an emotional Carolyn Mosher said last week of her oldest child, 32-year-old William Mosher Jr.
Mosher was allegedly murdered Aug. 28 by 29-year-old Bradley D. Burns, a schizophrenic inmate who lured Mosher into his cell at Bridgewater State Hospital and strangled him with a T-shirt.
The Arizona couple, who spoke at their Hub attorney's office, had thought their son was safe at the psych facility and will file a civil lawsuit in federal court, said their lawyer, Joseph Balliro Jr.
"Billy was murdered by Bradley Burns. He was killed by the commonwealth of Massachusetts. We need to send a message to the commonwealth that this can't happen a third time,'' Balliro said, pointing to the 2003 prison slaying of pedophile priest John J. Geoghan.
Gov. Mitt Romney's call for the watchdog panel is one of the major recommendations of the commission that did an eight-month probe of the state prison system following Geoghan's murder.
In a 115-page report, Correction Commissioner Kathleen Dennehy outlined how the department accepted and has begun to implement the recommended changes.
Mosher had bipolar disorder, brought on in part by the prospect of going to prison for 10 to 15 years, his parents said. Mosher had been awaiting trial for five years for trafficking OxyContin.
Mosher, free on bail, wound up behind bars in the Bay State in January 2003 after he had an ``episode'' in Arizona while trying to board a plane for a Hub court date, his parents said.
He was committed to Bridgewater in July.


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