Armed Robbery Suspect Kessel Free After Evidence Confusion

Ian J. Kessel. (Lee County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office booking photograph.)

Ian J. Kessel, the former Haverhill High running back charged with armed robbery last year, is free after an apparent evidence mix-up, officials said.

Jury selection was to begin today in Salem Superior Court, but the trial is on hold after Kessel’s lawyer successfully argued evidence was improperly listed.

“The trial was continued because the Commonwealth has to re-indict the case because the property that was stolen is different than was previously alleged,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokesperson for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

Twenty-year-old Kessel and Dalvin F. Andino, then 19, were indicted by an Essex County grand jury during March of last year on charges stemming from an arrest in January 2016 at Forest Acres apartments in Bradford. Wednesday’s ruling means the grand jury must convene again and decide whether to indict the men.

As WHAV reported earlier, both suspects and an unidentified 17-year-old juvenile were charged with armed robbery during, what Haverhill Police said, was a “drug deal gone bad.”

At the time, Haverhill Police Lt. Robert P. Pistone said, “The victim in this case made an arrangement to buy marijuana and was told to meet at Forest Acres Drive…When he went there, he was directed to get into a motor vehicle where a gun was put to his head. He was robbed of a good sum of money,” he added.

Kessel was ordered held without bail last month by Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley because of Kessel’s late June arrest in Florida for alleged marijuana possession and resisting an officer. He was represented by Boston attorney Hank Brennan, a member of mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense team in 2013.

“Mr. Kessel, like any other citizen, is presumed innocent,” Brennan told WHAV. “He has an entitlement like any other similarly situated citizen deserves. He intends to go to court before a jury of his peers,” he added.

8 thoughts on “Armed Robbery Suspect Kessel Free After Evidence Confusion

    • I think you people are missing the concept of this article. The case is being dismissed because after almost 2 years the defense proved the victim was not a victim but a drug dealer who lied at the grand jury, committing perjury. The victim, if you call him that took the 5th at every hearing and the juvenile cases were dismissed. But after plastering this kids face all over the paper for two years the Haverhill Police, in order to save face because of their incompetent police work gave the drug dealer and perjurer immunity! So the drug dealer and admitted perjurer is now their star witness!I The case keeps getting better and better…Great HPD police work and by the way tons of money wasted for a case that is going south.

      • Susan such passion. Are you his mom? You’re obviously very close to this case because you’ve cited many alleged facts that have not been reported publicly.

        But in all fairness Joe Citizen did say that ,if evidence is mishandled the Constitution should be upheld to protect us all. It seems to me that you have a point about evidence being mishandled because they have to indict him again.

        But I’m not convinced that poor Ian it’s just a misunderstood young man because mommy didn’t give him enough ice cream.

        I’m pretty sure that this was One Bad Apple robbing another- and if what you say is true -the alleged victim is a filthy rat .

        Ian does deserve the presumption of innocence in a court of law and due process. Maybe you’ll get to come back to us and say nanananana told you so . Nobody missed the point. You just allegedly have more information than everybody else.

        • clearly not his mom and maybe you should do some basic investigation and you will find the case is a joke and a desperate attempt by the police to save face at this point…

  1. Jack I share your Chagrin that this dirtball is on the streets. But when Rules of Evidence of are upheld the Constitution is upheld and we all benefit. This dumbass will stick a gun in the wrong persons ear and end up on a slab

  2. Another screw up by our illustrious system. Talk about incompetence. First the drug lab fiasco then another drug lab fiasco. Then the Lantigua fiasco. When will it end ? But, if it was a guy who forgot to pay a ticket, he gets screwed !

    • I totally agree.
      The incompetence is the end result of a system where employees either work in a public employee union, or are hired based on who they’re related, to or friends with.
      When is the last time you ever saw a public employee get fired for their incompetence?