Court tosses conviction of Watertown man arrested with gun near school

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court has tossed the weapons conviction of a Watertown man who was arrested outside a high school after police found a loaded gun in his bag.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that police officers violated Jonathan Villagran’s constitutional rights in 2015 when they searched his backpack without having reason to suspect he was dangerous or had committed a crime.

Prosecutors had said the then-19-year-old Villagran was searched after he walked to the Milton High School building with no reason to be there. Police found the loaded handgun, marijuana and other items.

The discovery prompted a lockdown of the building.

The defense had filed a motion to suppress the drug and gun evidence before the trial but it was denied. The court called that decision an “error.”

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