MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota judge threw out a felony charge against the brother of hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard on Thursday, saying the facts didn’t support the accusation in the player’s overdose death earlier this year. Aaron Boogaard, 24, was accused of giving his brother an oxycodone pill at the start of a night of partying that led to Boogaard’s death May 13 at age 28. Aaron Boogaard was charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. In dismissing the charge, Hennepin County District Judge William R. Howard said the facts of the case didn’t support the charge. Howard wrote that Derek Boogaard had acquired the drugs and asked his brother to hold them, and that Aaron Boogaard’s act of giving him the pill was merely returning his property to him. Derek Boogaard, a former fan favourite for the Minnesota Wild, was with the New York Rangers before his death. After he died, his family acknowledged that he had become addicted to painkillers. They said Aaron Boogaard had attempted to help his brother with his addiction by controlling his access to drugs, and had criticized authorities for charging him. Boogaard’s lawyer, John Lundquist, called the judge’s decision a significant victory. “We’re very pleased for Aaron and his entire family. This is a tremendous relief for them and we hope this will be a step in resolving the entire matter.”
A spokesman for the Hennepin County prosecutor’s office didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
The younger Boogaard still faces a misdemeanour charge for allegedly flushing evidence down a toilet in his brother’s Minneapolis apartment after finding his brother dead.