Hampden District Attorney confirms ex-police officer dead

Retired Officer Kevin Burnham was supposed to have change-of-plea hearing

Kevin Burnham is seen here in a WWLP file image from January 2016.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampden District Attorney has confirmed that former Springfield Police Officer, Kevin Burnham is dead.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the DA’s office, Wilbraham police were called to Burnham’s home in Springfield, at 2:25 p.m., Monday, where he was found unresponsive.

The news release states that Burnham was transported to Baystate Medical Center, and was pronounced dead.

The official cause of death has yet to be ruled by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

There was police activity at the home of the former Springfield police officer charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars, after he failed to show up in court for a change-of-plea hearing, Monday.

Springfield Mayor, Domenic Sarno issued a statement about the retired police officer, according to a news release sent to 22News from the mayor’s office.

“This is a tragic ending to an unfortunate situation,” Mayor Sarno stated in the news release. “My thoughts and prayers go out to Kevin’s family and friends.”

A warrant was issued for Kevin Burnham’s arrest after he failed to show up in court for his hearing at 2 p.m. at Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, but Burnham was nowhere to be found. His attorney, Charles Dolan, told the judge that he did not know his client’s whereabouts, and had not communicated with him that he was not going to be in court.

The judge had given Dolan 30 minutes after the scheduled start of the hearing to find Burnham, but at 2:30 p.m., he was still missing.

Burnham is accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the police department’s evidence room while serving as the narcotics evidence officer. In that position, he was in charge of storage and safekeeping of money and drug evidence.

Burnham’s trial start date had been rescheduled multiple times. His attorney’s latest request to continue the case to a further date due to a “confidential matter” was denied last Wednesday. A previous reschedule was due to a medical condition.

Ex-Springfield cop accused of stealing nearly $400K from evidence room

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office says the stolen cash came from about 170 different drug cases between 2009 and 2014. Burnham is being charged with six counts of larceny over $250 and one count of larceny under $250.

At the time of Burnham’s retirement, he was the longest-serving Springfield police officer.