Man accused of causing UMass student’s overdose death arraigned

Jesse Carillo is charged with involuntary manslaughter, heroin distribution

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A former UMass graduate student, Jesse Carillo, was arraigned Thursday on manslaughter charges in the overdose death of another UMass student.

The 27-year old was led into court shackled by his hands and feet. He walked out a free man after posting $25,000 bail.

High profile Defense Attorney J.W. Carney Jr. spoke to 22News after his arraignment. He said, “Jesse has been living since January in a sober house. He is surrounded by people committed to dealing with an addiction. I can guarantee you, Jess has thought about this tragedy every single day and his heart goes out to the victim’s family.”

Carillo pled not guilty to providing UMass student Eric Sinacori a deadly dose of heroin.

According to Steven Gagne, 1st Assistant District Attorney, “These cases are difficult to investigate and they are difficult to prosecute. That’s why you don’t see many manslaughter prosecutions for overdose death. In this particular case we believe we have garnered a great deal of evidence. We believe our case is strong.”

Sinacori was found dead in his dorm room in 2013. The case made national news after it was discovered that Sinacori was cooperating with police in a drug investigations. It also led to the end of the UMass student informant program and put the spotlight back on heroin and opioid abuse.

A decision hasn’t been made yet on if Carillo will testify at his own trial. He was ordered not to have any contact with the victim’s family or the UMass campus.

Carillo will be back in court on March 29th for a pre-trial hearing.

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