DA: Manslaughter charge won’t move forward

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Aaron Bezahler, 22, was to face a manslaughter charge, but the district attorney says he won't prosecute.

Updated Wednesday, 4:05 pm

In a surprise move, Aaron Bezahler, the man accused of selling a lethal dose of fentanyl to Antone Silvia in April, was in Edgartown Monday to be arraigned on a manslaughter charge — three days before it was scheduled.

But, instead, the judge kept the original arraignment date. A separate motion for a change of venue by his attorney Jennifer Marcus was denied. Mr. Bezahler is scheduled for a trial on charges of possession of a Class A drug and conspiracy to violate the drug laws on Monday, Dec. 18.

Late Wednesday, The Times learned that the DA’s office won’t follow through on the manslaughter prosecution. They intend to file a nolle prosequi, or drop the charge.

The criminal complaint for manslaughter was filed by Mr. Silvia’s mother, Brenda Williston-Floyd. An off-Island clerk magistrate reviewed the application and decided there was enough evidence to bring the charge forward.

In a text message, Mr. Silvia’s mother told The Times she was aware of the decision and wasn’t happy about it. She was unavailable for further comment.

In a letter to The Times last week, Ms. Williston-Floyd wrote that she pursued the manslaughter charge to bring justice for her son. Her family has been ripped apart by Mr. Silvia’s death. He left behind a son, brothers, and an extended family, she wrote.

In a week, Mr. Bezahler is scheduled for a jury trial on related charges of distribution of a Class A drug and conspiracy to violate the drug laws.

Updated with information about DA’s office dropping a manslaughter charge.