Trial underway for former UMass student charged with manslaughter

Jesse Carrillo charged after allegedly providing heroin to student who overdosed

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The trial of a former UMass graduate student charged with manslaughter in connection to the overdose death of another student got underway on Wednesday.

28-year-old Jesse Carrillo has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and heroin distribution charges.

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He is accused of providing the deadly dose of heroin that killed UMass student Eric Sinacori. Sinacori was found dead in his apartment at Puffton Village in Amherst, in October of 2013.

The case gained national attention after it was later revealed that Sinacori had been working as an informant for UMass police at the time of his death. UMass police agreed not to pursue drug charges against him, if he had agreed to cooperate with them in drug investigations. He died 10-months after becoming an informant for the UMass Police Department.

The university launched an investigation into the confidential program following Sinacori’s death. The program ended in January 2015, following that review.

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Carrillo was later charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to Sinacori’s death for allegedly providing the heroin he overdosed on.

Opening statements in Carrillo’s trial took place Wednesday morning at Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton, followed by testimony from Sinacori’s father, and Carrillo’s former girlfriend.

Carrillo is being represented by high-profile defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr., who is perhaps most well-known for representing mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.