Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Inevitable end?



A life turned upside down by heroin and crime came to a sudden end for 31-year-old Christopher Desjardin, a Vermont native who made his presence known here in Amherst by stealing laptops from unsuspecting UMass students last year.

When the obit reads "passed away suddenly," that's usually code for either a drug overdose or suicide.  Or, maybe, both.  Because using a drug like heroin is a fairly easy way to kill yourself. 

The Vermonter who gave me the heads up, a father who set up a successful sting to get back his son's stolen laptop resulting in the arrest of Desjardin, feels badly for his family but not so much for Mr. Desjardin.

When crime has touched you or a family member, it's hard to be forgiving.  Especially when the perp is a repeat offender.

Massachusetts just declared a "public health emergency" to address the rising tide of opiate abuse.  One of the recommendations is to spend more money to increase treatment and recovery services -- especially in state prisons and county jails.

When Eastern Hampshire District Court Judge Poelher handed down a sentence (11/15/13) for Christopher Desjardin on 13 counts of stolen property, the six months jail time was to include "mandatory drug treatment."  That was only 4.5 months ago.

But even if Christopher Desjardin stayed in the system until May 15, the call of the needle would someday, perhaps, prove too strong.



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27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assuming this is legitimate news, if he was supposed to be in jail for 6 months and that was less than 5 months ago, how the hell does he get ANY Heroin?!?!?!?

Who's running the jail, "Druggies R Us"???

Anonymous said...

I am shocked, SHOCKED! to hear that drugs are available in jail.

Gosh Ed, is it finally dawning on you that maybe, just maybe, some institutions function far less than 100% perfectly?

Keep that in mind next time you go mental about someone violating someone else's civil rights and (gasp) getting away with it!

Anonymous said...


I wonder if the solution is to eliminate all forms of free housing and low income housing in proximity to urban areas, to set up camps out in the country where you can control the population. I often think about chemical castration as part of the solution. I know these are controversial ideas.

Anonymous said...

Why are people assuming he died of a drug overdose in jail? He may have been completely sober, but previous drug use could have done any number of things to his internal organs causing failure. Is it possible that he had access to drugs in jail? Of course, but that doesn't mean that he was using when he died.
Anyone who has had a friend or family member who is addicted to drugs knows that after a while, you come to understand that you might eventually get a phone call telling you that your loved one has died sooner than expected. It doesn't make it any less painful, but it doesn't come as a surprise when it happens.

Anonymous said...

Look at all the tax money he saved with his early release.
no loss, move on.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how heartless can you be? Clearly your life has not been touched by addiction. Count yourself blessed and have a little compassion. You never know when karma will come knocking.

Anonymous said...

Ever try to give up cigarettes or booze 9:13am? You wouldn't know heartless if kicked you in the ass. Compassion is due for someone who has earned it. This kid was just another loser taking up space. 9:13am, you worry about karma I'll live in reality.

Anonymous said...

Reality? You have no idea what ive been through. The majority of us dont wear it on our sleeve, but are there to help others with their own or their loved ones addictions.

Anonymous said...

To 10:26 - You are blessed not to have a son, daughter, husband, wife, sister, brother or dear friend in the throws of addiction. As the cheesy commercial points out "No one starts out wanting to be an addict". I hope you are able to continue going through life judging the "losers", and never find yourself being judged for making a poor choice.

Anonymous said...

Addicts are just weak. Life isn't easy, learn to deal with it. The more you coddle an addict, the more they'll abuse it. Cry all you want for them, it doesn't solve their problem. It's people like you whining for compassion and idiots in commercials that feed off weakness. Get your head out of your ass and deal with reality.

Anonymous said...

You need to take responsibility for your choices. He wasn't addicted to heroin the first time he did it. How did his problem become the rest of ours?

Too bad there aren't more overdoses.

Anonymous said...

Addiction is a disease..not a weakness. I suppose diabetics are weak as well because they need to take insulin. I feel sorry for people like Anon 12:02. They seem to operate from a place of anger.

Anonymous said...

too bad you can't overdose on being an asshole in blog comment sections.

Anonymous said...

Dont feed the troll

AL Wilbur said...

Wow!!! Reading all the comments by people who don't have the guts to be named, is why this site is call "Only in the Republic of Amherst" Lots of comments worth nothing. By a bunch of gutless people.. Don't be afraid to speak your thoughts while hiding. You all are the typical Amherst resident. Peace Love Dove is no longer..

Larry Kelley said...

These days Al, half my traffic is from outside Amherst.

And just for the record: publication of a comment does not constitute an endorsement.

ryan said...

"The Vermonter who gave me the heads up...feels badly for his family but not so much for Mr. Desjardin.
When crime has touched you or a family member, it's hard to be forgiving. Especially when the perp is a repeat offender."

I'm sorry, Larry, but are you fucking kidding me with this shit? The guy stole laptops, for god's sake, which I think ranks pretty low on the scale of potential harm caused by criminal activity. Surely, Larry, you aren't struggling the way your source is to recognize the fact this man did not deserve to die because of his crime? Right? I know this point is lost on the mooks who comment on your blog, but you do understand that death (whether self-inflicted or state-sponsored) is definitely not a proportional response to this crime, right? And that finding it "hard to be forgiving" in this context (i.e. believing the OD was somehow an act of justice, that he had it coming) is an antisocial response that borders on sociopathic? And that this kind of selfish and petulant sociopathic attitude poses a greater danger to the members of our community than, say, the theft of a laptop?
Right, Larry?

The rest of you disgust me. I wonder what it must take to live with yourselves. I don't mean that simply as a moralizing rhetorical question -- I'm sincerely curious about what's required to maintain the fantasy that you are anything other than irrelevant and unlovable voids.

Anonymous said...

Life is good. Trolling here is like shooting fish in a barrel. Liberals and Larry, what a mixture. That's why I come here every day to see which know-it-all will sucker for a few lines of B.S. All the compassion for their fellow man. HA, nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. Thanks, you made my day.

Anonymous said...

Call me an idealist, but if he died in jail, with a contraband needle in his arm, full of contraband/illegal heroin, I'd sure as hell expect there to be an investigation and criminal charges -- and quite likely a new person running the jail.

Anonymous said...

"He wasn't addicted to heroin the first time he did it"

Actually, he probably was, idiot

And I'm sure there will be an "investigation" if this happened in jail....that won't take long and they certainly won't put too much effort in. It's jail, people do drugs in there that either get in or they make them themselves. Welcome to outside your bubble of dreams

Anonymous said...

"He wasn't addicted to heroin the first time he did it"

How ignorant can you be

Anonymous said...

Welcome to outside your bubble of dreams

What the **** are we paying for, then? I'm not saying that jails are perfect nor that they have nice people in them, but we're paying a shitload of money to run them and I'd like to think the people being well paid to do that have at least a scintilla of responsibility.

Anonymous said...

To all of the idiots who automatically assumed he died at the jail a tiny bit of digging would reveal that to not be the case. Once again a little bit of information becomes a dangerous thing.

Anonymous said...

You people are losers..did you know he was a veteran who suffered and self medicated through heroin he was not in jail he was in a treatment facility I know this because I was here when he died..he was released to this places care. Drugs can get in they can get into prison they can get in here. Heartless..he was a Vet like all of us here. Someone gave it to him..peer pressure is strong especially when you are weak and have a sickeness..screw all of you

Nina Koch said...

To 1:02 pm,

I am truly sorry for the hurtful comments that you read here about your friend.

Please know that there are many people who appreciate your service and who also recognize the powerful grip of the disease of addiction.

No one is a worthless human being and for people to suggest otherwise is, as you say, heartless. Ironically, many of the people saying mean things here are actually struggling with their own demons and ought to know better.

I wish the best to all of the vets who are in this treatment facility, trying to get better. There are many people in the community who care about you.

Chris Kerwin said...

He wasn't in jail he died at Soldier On in Leeds, MA. It's a program for homeless recovering veterans. Get your fucking facts right before posting something.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that the US Army requires soldiers to consume Heroin.

Why are we wasting money on druggies when we could be trying to help those who wore the uniform honorably....