Man caught in drug lab scandal not eligible for fee refund

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that a man who was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea in a drug case because of misconduct by a former chemist at a state drug-testing lab is not entitled to have court fees refunded.

Pierce Martin pleaded guilty in 2011 to marijuana possession.

He was allowed to withdraw his plea because evidence in his case was handled by Annie Dookhan, who served three years in prison for tampering with evidence and falsifying thousands of tests.

Martin requested the return of $780 in probation fees and a $50 assessment.

The Supreme Judicial Court in its decision Friday said only defendants whose cases are overturned on appeal can get refunds, while defendants, such as Martin, whose convictions are withdrawn, then dropped, are not eligible.

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