Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M Quinn’s Office received the autopsy report for former Massachusetts State Senator Brian Joyce from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. On Dec 8, 2017, Brian Joyce was arrested by federal authorities for allegedly using his state senate office for private gain.
The postmortem toxicology was positive for elevated levels of Pentobarbital and a slightly elevated level of Citralopram (for treating depression.) The Medical Examiner has determined that the cause of Brian Joyce’s death was due to Acute Pentobarbital Intoxication. Pentobarbital is a drug used to euthanize pets and execute convicts and in smaller doses used as a sleep aid.
The autopsy further revealed Hypertensive and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease complicating a ruling on the Manner of Death which was determined to be Undetermined. There was not enough evidence to determine if his death was from an accident, suicide, homicide or natural causes.
At this time, the DA’s office is reviewing the autopsy report and all other attendant circumstances to determine whether further investigation is warranted.