Former Massachusetts senator facing corruption charges found dead in home

Brian A. Joyce

A former Massachusetts senator who was awaiting trial on federal corruption charges was found dead in his Westport home, according to authorities.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said the body of Brian Joyce was discovered early Thursday afternoon. He was 56.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has taken custody of the deceased and will conduct an autopsy in the coming days,” Quinn said, adding that foul play is not suspected at this time.

Senate President Karen Spilka released a statement shortly after Joyce’s death was announced.

"I’ve just learned of the sudden death of former Senator Brian Joyce,” Spilka noted. “As authorities handle the appropriate investigations, my thoughts are with his family."

Joyce, who was a Democrat from Milton and first elected in 1998, was arrested in December 2017 and charged with accepting up to $1 million in bribes and kickbacks for helping companies and then laundering the money through his law office, disguising it as legal fees. His district included part of Bristol County.

Joyce pleaded not guilty to the charges and was free on bond, but he left the Senate after not seeking re-election in 2016.

WCVB reported that officials said Joyce involved in a car crash Wednesday in Westport, but it isn’t clear if the crash contributed to his death.

The investigation remains active and ongoing, Quinn said.

(The Associated Press contributed.)

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