Jason Willoughby, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an Island woman, appeared in Dukes County Superior Court Wednesday morning for motion hearing pertaining to possible evidence in his case. Willoughby is also charged with distribution of a Class B substance (fentanyl) and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substance Act.
Jason Willoughby’s defense attorney, Robb Moriarty, has maintained it was Leo Willoughby, the cousin of Jason Willoughby’s father, who is responsible for injecting the deceased woman with a lethal cocktail of drugs and pursuant to that argument, he asked Judge Robert Rufo for access to two years worth of Leo Willoughby’s prescription drug records. Moriarty has previously argued Leo Willoughby has been granted immunity as an informant in the case by the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.
“The cause of the [woman’s] death was acute fentanyl, heroin, Klonopin, and methadone intoxication,” Moriarty said Wednesday. “In my review of [her] medical records, she’s not prescribed methadone. Somebody else was.” Moriarty went on to say Leo Willoughby and the woman lived together and photographs of the crime scene show “pill bottles everywhere.”
Moriarty also said Leo Willoughby told a grand jury he and the woman “used the drugs together, they put the drugs together, they separated the drugs out to two trays — he takes the drugs, passes out — the situation according to him — he wakes up, finds her dead on the floor.”
In testimony before the grand jury, Moriarty said Leo Willoughby testified that “he took the drugs that he didn’t use and that [the woman] didn’t use, and flushed them down the toilet. So there’s no way of knowing what exactly they injected themselves with, number one. Number two, there’s no way of knowing what was modified…”
Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Jessica Croker didn’t see any merit in permitting access to Leo Willoughby’s pharmacy records.
“I don’t see any relevance to these pharmacy records,” Croker said. “Yes there are photographs of pill bottles and yes she had methadone in her system, but even if he gets the records he’s looking for, there’s no way he’s going to make a connection — Leo Willoughby is prescribed methadone that he gave to the [woman]. That would be a pretty big jump to me without some testimony from a witness or some other evidence. In addition, it wouldn’t be relevant to his state of mind when this happened because admittedly he had shot up fentanyl and had almost overdosed himself.”
Judge Rufo gave Leo Willoughby an opportunity to review the motion requesting his records and later had Dukes County Superior Court Clerk George Davis swear him in. After further deliberation with Leo Willoughby and between the attorneys, Judge Rufo allowed the motion for records between Feb. 5, 2016 and Feb. 5, 2018.
Croker requested Moriarty not be allowed to share those records with his client, Jason Willoughby, or with other parties except a toxicology expert witness.
“The motion to suppress is under advisement,” Judge Rufo said.
Judge Rufo set a presumptive trial date for Wednesday, Oct. 9.