Former State Senator Brian Joyce Found Dead Ahead Of Corruption Trial

Former lawmaker Brian Joyce.
Charles Krupa / Associated Press

An investigation is underway to determine what circumstances may have been behind the death of former Massachusetts state Senator, whose passing this week comes shy of legal proceedings that could have resulted in his imprisonment for federal corruption crimes.

Former nine-term Senator Brian A. Joyce’s death was reported by his wife, Mary, on Thursday, September 27. Scant detail about the scene — or the condition that Joyce’s body was in when Mary found him lifeless in their Westport home — has been released to the public.

What is known is that the late father of five was still recuperating from a car crash that he had gotten into one day prior. But so far, while authorities have confirmed that evidence related to Joyce’s health is being taken into consideration, they will only say that they are looking into the possibility that the accident could’ve played a part in Joyce’s early death at age 56.

Up until his passing, Joyce had been dealing with the pressure of an impending trial that would have put him on the stand to answer allegations that he committed a number of serious crimes — ranging from mail fraud and corruption to money laundering and embezzlement. The charges stem from a probe into practices that prosecutors believed surrounded Joyce using his political influence in various schemes and bribes. The alleged crimes paid off via $1 million in kickbacks, according to the Boston Globe.

Joyce — who served over Norfolk, Bristol, and the Plymouth districts since his entry into politics in 1998 — had been out of office for close to two years when he was arrested on the aforementioned charges. He was released on $250,000 bond last December. His tenure had come to an end when the disgraced senator elected to forgo the opportunity to seek re-election, just days after his law office was raided by the feds in February of 2016.

There was a time when Joyce presented himself as a man of conviction among his colleagues in the Democratic Party. He was a proponent of public education and was recognized as an early supporter of gay marriage. But according to the 113-count federal indictment that he’d plead not-guilty to, Joyce had a darker history that involved him exchanging favors with companies that he laundered money back from, under the guise of legal fees.

Nevertheless, in light of Thursday’s news, various local representatives have responded to press inquiries by saying that their thoughts are with Joyce’s family. The parties overseeing the probe into his death are awaiting the results of an autopsy that will be completed within the next couple of days.

The Bristol District Attorney’s office has stated that foul play has not been suspected up until this point.