SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 21, 2012

Parents seek release of report on case worker's death

PEABODY — Lawyers for the family of a Peabody woman allegedly killed by a resident of the Revere group home where she worked have gone to court to ask a judge to order the release of a new report into the incident.

Stephanie Moulton was a 25-year-old case worker at the North Suffolk Mental Health group home where Deshawn Chappell had been placed by the Department of Mental Health, when, one morning in January 2011, she was killed, allegedly by Chappell.

Chappell is scheduled to stand trial in April.

The family has also filed a civil lawsuit against the state and directors of the private agency, North Suffolk, that ran the group home.

Moulton’s parents, Kim Flynn and Bob Moulton, and their lawyers want access to what they believe is a completed Department of Mental Health report looking into the incident.

On Monday, they went to court, in an effort to get a judge to order the report be turned over to them. They want to use the report, as well as information about prior placements of Chappell, in their pending civil case.

A Middlesex Superior Court judge has given lawyers for the state time to file a further response to the request before ruling on whether Moulton’s parents can have the report, as well as information about Chappell’s prior placements and any incidents that led to his transfer to the Revere facility.

“It seems like they are trying to bury it,” said lawyer Barry Feinstein, who represents Moulton’s parents.

Flynn, in an affidavit, said she learned of the new report while attending a meeting at Peabody City Hall in October, where she was involved in planning a symposium for state officials and workers that had been created in the wake of Moulton’s death.

She said a senior official at the Department of Mental Health told her the investigation was complete and the report was written and would be given to her “within a few days.”

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